Title:
Manufacturable game
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
In accordance with a preferred embodiment of the invention, there is disclosed an article of manufacture for surrogate gift giving.



Inventors:
Duncan, Karyn S. (San Jose, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/545337
Publication Date:
04/10/2008
Filing Date:
10/10/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/10
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20060154225Test preparation deviceJuly, 2006Kim
20060119043Multi level progressive blackjackJune, 2006O'halloran
20100068681Game apparatus and method for teaching core replacement behaviorsMarch, 2010Rekort
20030137108United States educational cardsJuly, 2003Mathews
20080139267Multi-hand blackjack video gameJune, 2008Jackson
20090315262Wagering Game Combining Baccarat and PokerDecember, 2009Lucente
20090051111Magnetic Game Simulating a Team SportFebruary, 2009Andersen
20080067745Blackjack Game With Additional Betting OptionsMarch, 2008Wikstrom
20080150231PRINTING PLAYING CARDS AT A GAMING TABLEJune, 2008Moody
20070187888Lottery game card having a Sudoku-themed gameAugust, 2007Dures et al.
20050285338Timer and dice word gamesDecember, 2005Cusolito



Primary Examiner:
WONG, STEVEN B
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Patent, Crafters (3815 Crownpoint Ct., Suite 200, Carlsbad, CA, 92010, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A manufacturable game for surrogate gift giving, comprising: means for bearing an image or codes on at least one surface of a shaped puzzle piece; means for providing a form into which or around which the plurality of shapes may be situated, packaged together with or to said means for bearing an image or codes on at least one surface of a shaped puzzle piece; means for containing the plurality of shapes in an unassembled state, packaged together, with or to said means for providing a form into which or around which the plurality of shapes may be situated; means for aiding the participants in how to use and modify the kit; and means for containing all aforementioned elements into a single package.

2. The manufacturable game in accordance with claim 1, wherein said means for bearing an image or codes on at least one surface of a shaped puzzle piece comprises a plurality of shapes.

3. The manufacturable game in accordance with claim 1, wherein said means for providing a form into which or around which the plurality of shapes may be situated comprises a frame.

4. The manufacturable game in accordance with claim 1, wherein said means for containing the plurality of shapes in an unassembled state comprises a receptacle.

5. The manufacturable game in accordance with claim 1, wherein said means for aiding the participants in how to use and modify the kit comprises a set of instructions.

6. The manufacturable game in accordance with claim 1, wherein said means for containing all aforementioned elements into a single package comprises a bagged, boxed, or bubble-packed kit.

7. A manufacturable game for surrogate gift giving, comprising: a plurality of shapes, for bearing an image or codes on at least one surface of a shaped puzzle piece; a frame, for providing a form into which or around which the plurality of shapes may be situated, packaged together with or to said plurality of shapes; a receptacle, for containing the plurality of shapes in an unassembled state, packaged together, with or to said frame; a set of instructions, for aiding the participants in how to use and modify the kit; and a bagged, boxed, or bubble-packed kit, for containing all aforementioned elements into a single package.

8. The manufacturable game as recited in claim 7, further comprising: a computer program on media, for storing the computer program.

9. A manufacturable game for surrogate gift giving, comprising: a plurality of shapes, for bearing an image or codes on at least one surface of a shaped puzzle piece; a frame, for providing a form into which or around which the plurality of shapes may be situated, packaged together with or to said plurality of shapes; a receptacle, for containing the plurality of shapes in an unassembled state, packaged together, with or to said frame; a set of instructions, for aiding the participants in how to use and modify the kit; a computer program on media, for storing the computer program; and a bagged, boxed, or bubble-packed kit, for containing all aforementioned elements into a single package.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to games and, more particularly, to a puzzle game intended to stimulate and enchant the participants.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Sociologically, families in developed countries are becoming less and less interdependent. Families are geographically distributed and, in many cases, the relationships akin to ‘families’ and ‘relatives’ have diverged from the traditional definitions of relationships by blood or marriage. Moreover, given the degree of affluence in developed countries, it has become more and more expensive to make a favorable impression with a gift. There is a need for mechanisms to (a) foster participation in gift giving by family members who may be geographically dispersed; (b) distribute the cost of the gift giving over a large number of family members, relatives and friends; and (c) regardless of the tangible or intangible nature of the gift, to foster enchantment for the gift recipient through the presentation of a surrogate gift. The present invention addresses all aspects of surrogate gift giving.

Prior art shows puzzles, gifts, toys, gift and occasion cards, and even customization of such items. However there is no prior art or articles of manufacture that bring all of the recited elements into a single unified article of manufacture.

One object of the invention is to bring all of the elements of surrogate gift giving into a single article of manufacture.

Another object of the invention is to facilitate the gifting of a surrogate gift by persons who may be geographically distributed.

Another object of the invention is to facilitate the customization of the surrogate gift.

Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following descriptions, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein, by way of illustration and example, various embodiments of the present invention are disclosed.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with a preferred embodiment of the invention, there is disclosed an article of manufacture for surrogate gift giving comprising: a plurality of shapes, each shape capable of bearing affixed colors or printing, a frame capable of receiving at least one of the plurality of shapes in at least one configuration, a receiving receptacle, and printed instructions describing at least one mechanism for how to customize said shapes.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

A complete understanding of the present invention may be obtained by reference to the accompanying drawings when considered in conjunction with the subsequent, detailed description, in which:

FIG. 1 is an exploded view of exemplary elements of an embodiment of the invention in kit form;

FIG. 2 is a top elevation view of a sample embodiment of a three-dimensional (3D) frame; and

FIG. 3 is a detail view of a non-volatile memory device for containing a computer program.

For purposes of clarity and brevity, like elements and components will bear the same designations and numbering throughout the Figures.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Detailed descriptions of the preferred embodiment are provided herein. It is to be understood, however, that the present invention may be embodied in various forms. Therefore, specific details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but rather as a basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to employ the present invention in virtually any appropriately detailed system, structure, or manner.

While the invention is described in connection with a preferred embodiment, it is not intended to limit the scope of the invention to the particular form set forth but, on the contrary, it is intended to cover such alternatives, modifications, and equivalents as may be included within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.

FIG. 1 depicts an article of manufacture which is a kit 100 for packaging the shapes, the frame 180, the receiving receptacle 150, and the printed instructions 170. The kit 100 consists of a plurality of shapes 130, each shape capable of bearing affixed colors or printing, a frame 180 capable of receiving at least one of the plurality of shapes 130 in at least one configuration, instructions describing at least one mechanism on how to customize the plurality of shapes 130, and a receiving receptacle 150.

In one embodiment, the plurality of shapes 130, frame 180, and receiving receptacle 150 are manufactured from one of the following materials: paper, cardboard, plastic, wood, metal, a laminate, glass, ceramic. In another embodiment, the plurality of shapes 130 are delivered in a single sheet in pre-assembled form, and the sheet is marked or perforated so as to facilitate easy separation of one shape from another.

In one embodiment, the plurality of shapes 130, frame 180, and receiving receptacle 150 are manufactured from any material that is either inherently rigid (e.g. cardboard, plastic, wood, metal, a laminate, glass, ceramic, etc.) or is capable of being formed into a shape that becomes rigid through any known process (e.g. clay, paper mache, curable plastic, epoxies and resins, etc).

In another embodiment, the plurality of shapes 130 are selected from non-overlapping portions of one of the following images: a bicycle, a domicile, a hot-tub, a ship, an airplane, a bottle of wine, a landmark, a surfboard, a vehicle, an MP3 player.

In another embodiment, the plurality of shapes 130 are printed with an image on one side, and text or codes on the other side.

In one embodiment, the frame 180 is constructed from one of the following rigid materials: paper, cardboard, plastic, wood, metal, a laminate, glass, ceramic.

In one embodiment, the frame 180 is constructed from a non-rigid material capable of being folded or molded into a rigid form.

In another embodiment the frame 180 is three-dimensional and is capable of receiving at least one of the plurality of shapes 130 in at least one location.

In another embodiment, the frame 180 is substantially three-dimensional.

In the embodiment shown in FIG. 2, the 3D frame 201 is a three dimensional shape fashioned from a wire. The wire may be made from a semi-rigid segment of wire made from a metal, or the wire may be made from some non-metallic material, so long as the material will hold a shape when bent.

FIG. 1 shows a set of instructions 170. The set of instructions 170 may be printed matter. In some embodiments the set offers descriptions of (a) how to play the game, (b) how to modify or customize the front surface 110 of the shapes by affixing an image or text or codes, (c) how to modify or customize the back surface 120 of the shapes by affixing an image text, or code.

In one embodiment the set of instructions 170 are delivered on a compact disk or on a flash memory device (e.g., Compact Flash, Secure Digital, XD-PictureCard) or on a printed page.

In another embodiment, the set of instructions 170 includes at least one of the following: a URL to a website, a series of steps to perform, a telephone number to call.

In another embodiment, the set of instructions 170 includes card stock that may or may not be pre-perforated such that the images and codes discussed herein may be printed on the card stock prior to separation at the perforations. Thus, the plurality of shapes 130, the frame 180, and the receptacle 150 may be customized and printed by the user at will.

In one embodiment the plurality of shapes, the frame 180, the set of instructions 170, and the receiving receptacle 150 are printed on card stock.

In one embodiment the receiving receptacle 150 is delivered in a plurality of parts and construction includes at least one of the following: said parts that snap together, or adhere together, or are mechanically mated by shape to join one to another.

In one embodiment the receiving receptacle 150 includes at least one of the following features: a cubical shape, a cylindrical shape, an oblong shape, a rectilinear shape, or any other three-dimensional shape.

In one embodiment the receiving receptacle 150 includes at least one of the following features: the shape of a Christmas gift, a wedding cake, a heart, a likeness of a bride and groom, a vase, a layer, a cross, a mortarboard, a baby pacifier, a lamb, a stork, a computer monitor.

In one embodiment the receiving receptacle 150 includes an opening 160 of sufficient size and shape as to permit said shapes to be entered into the receptacle 150.

In one embodiment the receiving receptacle 150 includes at least one of the following features: an opening 160 which may be a slot, or any arbitrarily shaped aperture.

FIG. 3 depicts an embodiment of a computer program on media 330 that, when the program is read by the computer program media reader 320 and subsequently executed on the computer and peripherals 310, the computer and peripherals 310 produce the article of manufacture of FIG. 1 where each element is printed on paper or photo paper or card stock.

Since other modifications and changes varied to fit particular operating requirements and environments will be apparent to those skilled in the art, the invention is not considered limited to the example chosen for purposes of disclosure, and covers all changes and modifications which do not constitute departures from the true spirit and scope of this invention.

Having thus described the invention, what is desired to be protected by a Letters Patent is presented in the subsequently appended claims.