Title:
Seat and cover for use in a bathroom
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention is a toilet seat device fabricated from a polymeric material and a photoluminescence material. This combination provides for a structurally sound seat that is adapted to glow for an extended period of time in the absence of light.



Inventors:
Bryant, Monica L. (Tallahassee, FL, US)
Application Number:
09/845407
Publication Date:
11/08/2001
Filing Date:
04/30/2001
Assignee:
BRYANT MONICA L.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47K13/02; (IPC1-7): A47K13/00
View Patent Images:
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20040181864Supplemental toilet flushing systems with resultant savings of waterSeptember, 2004Browne
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Primary Examiner:
ELOSHWAY, CHARLES R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Lawrence L. Carnes (Tallahassee, FL, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A toilet seat comprising: a seat section having a central opening therein; said seat if fabricated from a polymeric material and photo luminescence material; and said photo luminescence material illuminates said seat section in the absence of light.

2. A toilet seat as in claim 1 wherein said polymeric material is approximately 40 to 60% of the total amount and said photo luminescence material is approximately 30-50% of the total amount.

3. A toilet seat as in claim 1 wherein a lid is hingedly secured to said seat.

4. A toilet seat as in claim 3 wherein said lid is fabricated from a polymeric material and photo luminescence material and said photo luminescence material illuminates said seat section and said lid in the absence of light.

5. A toilet seat as in claim 3 wherein an attaching device is secured to said seat and said attaching device enables said seat section to be secured to a conventional toilet.

6. A toilet seat as in claim 1 wherein said seat section includes a lower surface and said lower surface includes a plurality of spacers.

7. A toilet seat as in claim 6 wherein said spacers are fabricated from a polymeric material and photo luminescence material and said photo luminescence material illuminates said seat section and said spacers in the absence of light.

8. A toilet seat as in claim 2 wherein said seat section further includes an activator.

9. A toilet seat as in claim 8 wherein said activator is euopium.

10. A toilet seat as in claim 9 wherein said europium is approximately 3 to ten percent of the total amount.

11. A toilet seat comprising: a seat section having a central opening therein and a lid hingedly secured thereto; said lid if fabricated from a polymeric material and photo luminescence material; and said photo luminescence material illuminates said lid in the absence of light.

12. A toilet seat as in claim 11 wherein said polymeric material is approximately 40 to 60% of the total amount and said photo luminescence material is approximately 30-50% of the total amount.

13. A toilet seat as in claim 11 wherein an attaching device is secured to said seat and said attaching device enables said seat section to be secured to a conventional toilet.

14. A toilet seat as in claim 11 wherein said seat section includes a lower surface and said lower surface includes a plurality of spacers.

15. A toilet seat as in claim 11 wherein said lid further includes an activator.

16. A toilet seat as in claim 15 wherein said activator is europium.

17. A toilet seat as in claim 16 wherein said europium is approximately 3 to ten percent of the total amount.

18. A toilet seat as in claim 5 wherein said attaching device is fabricated from a polymeric material and photo luminescence material and said photo luminescence material illuminates said attaching device in the absence of light.

19. A toilet seat as in claim 18 wherein said lid is fabricated from a polymeric material and photo luminescence material and said photo luminescence material illuminates said attaching device in the absence of light.

Description:

[0001] This is a Continuation-In-Part of application Ser. No. 08/970,856 filed on Nov. 14, 1997.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of the Invention

[0003] The present invention relates generally to a seat and cover for use in a bathroom and more particularly to a seat having a cover that is adapted to glow with the absence of light for rendering a device with the capabilities of illumination for ultimately providing a novel, yet functional fixture in the lavatory.

[0004] 2. Description of the Prior Art

[0005] Night-lights are well known and are universally used to provide a small, yet adequate amount of light in a particular area. For example, night-lights are commonly used in the hallways and/or bathrooms in either residential homes or commercial buildings. The purpose is to provide illumination of light so as to guide others to a particular area, such as the bathroom. To add to the appeal to the consumers, products have been developed that are unusual and original in the night light industry.

[0006] One area of concentration or specialty is providing an adequate amount of illumination at night for the lavatory. Here, products are constantly being developed and marketed in hopes of meeting the needs and the demands of the consumer. For example, in U.S. Pat. No. 5,123,130 issued to Sanders, there is disclosed an illuminated commode training kit. This kit comprises a ring member for securing to and about a commode seat, a frame member for adherably mounting to a tissue roll dispenser, and a plurality of elongate longitudinally aligned mat members of flexible construction. The components of the kit include illumination characteristics in order to provide directional training to a child or the like.

[0007] Yet another device is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,689,842 issued to Delaney et al. In this patent there is disclosed a phosphorescent member adapted to be removably secured to a toilet bowl rim. This device is designed to provide illumination at night.

[0008] Though these devices are useful in providing some illumination properties, these devices disclose items that must be attached to the existing seat. This provides for items that can be obtrusive for cleaning purposes.

[0009] Still a further device is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,611,089 issued to Cretors. In this patent there is disclosed a toilet lighting device comprising an illuminating unit that will illuminate a toilet bowel, so that the toilet can be used in the dark. The illuminating unit is an electrical system including a plurality of light emitting diodes housed within the toilet seat. This night-light is efficient at providing illumination capability, but the using batteries may provide for a system that is costly to maintain.

[0010] Accordingly, it is seen that what is needed is a seat that that will provide comfortable support for the user, while serving additionally night-light purposes. This will inherently provide a seat that will lessen the danger of traveling while reducing feelings of insecurity whenever dark and in proximity to the bathroom. The seat and illumination feature should be an integral structure and one offers comfort during use. The product should be easy to install and one that produces successful and continual illuminating capabilities.

[0011] As will be seen, the present invention achieves its intended purposes, objectives and advantages, by accomplishing the needs as identified above, through a new, useful and unobvious combination of component elements, which is simple to use, with the utilization of a minimum number of functioning parts, at a reasonable cost to manufacture, assemble, test and by employing only readily available material.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0012] The present invention is a novel, unique and versatile seat and cover typically used in a bathroom. The present invention, known as a toilet seat cover, provides comfortable seating as well as offer an inherent illumination capability with the absence of light.

[0013] In order to accomplish a stable and comfortable environment, the toilet seat cover of the present invention comprises a seat section having a lid hingedly secured thereto. Mounting devices are sandwiched between the seat section and lid for enabling the present invention to be affixed to a conventional toilet. This will provide for the lid to be hingedly secured to the seat.

[0014] Each component of the present invention, including the seat, lid and mounting device is a unitary element. Each unitary element is fabricated from a polymer, such as polypropylene and is mixed with a material that exhibits illumination capability with the absence of light. In the present invention, the preferred material is strontium aluminate with europium as an activator. This configuration will provide for the Europium to be embedded in each component. The final product is a non-radioactive phosphorescent pigment with extreme afterglow that is longer and brighter than conventional phosphorescent products currently being utilized.

[0015] Having each component fabricated from a material adapted to illuminate provides for a final product that will ultimately provide efficient and adequate glow, innately providing a practical, energy efficient and aesthetically pleasing product.

[0016] To enhance the seat, a stabilizing device can be secured to the lower surface. This will provide for the seat to be stable, non-precarious and non-wobbly, so as to ultimately providing a seat that will not move or dislocate when in use. This stability offers additional security for the seat and thus is ideal for children, the elderly, and those with limited dexterity.

[0017] Accordingly, it is the object of the present invention to provide for a toilet seat and cover capable of illumination, which will overcome the deficiencies, shortcomings, and drawbacks of prior devices having illumination capabilities that are removably secured to a convention toilet seat.

[0018] Another object of the present invention is to seat for use in bathroom having illuminating capacity and one that is energy efficient by providing an illumination means that does not consume energy.

[0019] Yet another object of the present invention is to provide for a toilet seat cover that is aesthetically pleasing in that illuminated state as well as when not illuminated.

[0020] Still another object of the present invention is to provide a toilet seat cover that will produce an aesthetically pleasing glow in the absence of light. Another object of the present invention is to provide for a toilet seat that is versatile and which would reduce, if not eliminate injuries associated with conventional toilet seats, especially if used in hospitals, hotels, or the like, and if utilized for children, the elderly, and for those with limited dexterity.

[0021] A further object of the present invention, to be specifically enumerated herein, is to provide a seat for use in a bathroom in accordance with the preceding objects and which will conform to conventional forms of manufacture, be of simple construction and easy to use so as to provide a device that would be economically feasible, long lasting and relatively trouble free in operation.

[0022] Although there have been many inventions related to devices that illuminate the toilet seat, none of the inventions have become sufficiently compact, low cost, and reliable enough to become commonly used. The present invention meets the requirements of the simplified design, compact size, low initial cost, low operating cost, ease of installation and maintainability, and minimal amount of training to successfully employ the invention.

[0023] The foregoing has outlined some of the more pertinent objects of the invention. These objects should be construed to be merely illustrative of some of the more prominent features and application of the intended invention. Many other beneficial results can be obtained by applying the disclosed invention in a different manner or modifying the invention within the scope of the disclosure. Accordingly, a fuller understanding of the invention may be had by referring to the detailed description of the preferred embodiments in addition to the scope of the invention defined by the claims taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0024] FIG. 1 is a top planar view of the toilet seat device of the present invention, with the lid in an opened position.

[0025] FIG. 2 is a top planar view of the toilet seat device of the present invention, with the lid in a closed position.

[0026] FIG. 3 is a bottom planar view of the toilet seat device of the present invention, with the lid in a closed position.

[0027] Similar reference numerals refer to similar parts throughout the several views of the drawings.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0028] As seen in the drawings, in particular to FIGS. 1-3 there is shown a toilet seat, denoted by reference numeral 10, that is designed and configured to be secured to a conventional toilet. As seen in the figure, the toilet seat of the present invention comprises a seat section 12, a cover 14 hingedly secured thereto, and an attaching device 16, enabling the device 10 to be attached to a conventional toilet.

[0029] Each component of the invention, including the seat, cover and attaching device is structured so as to be a singular unit. This will provide for each component to be a singular unitary entity. The seat 12, as illustrated, is conventional in shape and as such this seat includes a ring shape member 18. The seat further includes a rear section 20, a front section 22, a lower surface 24 and an upper surface 26. The rear section 20 includes a flat edge 26. Extending outwardly from the flat edge 26, at opposite ends, are flanges 28. Partially extending horizontally through each flange is a channel (illustrated in outlined, but not labeled). The flange and ring shape member is a unitary structure that forms the seat 12. In an optional design, a gap can extend centrally through the front section 22 of the seat 12.

[0030] Located on the lower surface 24 of the ring member is a plurality of spacers 30. These spacers 30 are optional and if used, will rest on the top surface of the conventional toilet when located thereon. This will provide for a gap to exits between the present invention and the conventional toilet, when the seat is in a downward position. The gap will permit air circulation and the spacers can also provide anti-skidding properties so as to provide for a seat that will not move when in use. Such a configuration will inherently provide a seat that may be more hygienic and safer than conventional toilet seats.

[0031] The cover or lid 14 is conventional in appearance and thus includes a shape similar to the seat, without a center ring. The cover 14 will be slightly longer in length than then seat 12. This will enable the lid to adequately accommodate the extensions 32 that extend upwardly from outer ends of the rear area of the lid. Extending horizontally through the extensions is a channel 34. The lid and extension form an integral structure.

[0032] Enabling the present invention to be secured to a conventional toilet attaching devices 16 are utilized. As seen, the attaching device includes a lower attaching element 36 having an internal vertical threaded channel 38 (illustrated in outline) extending therethrough. A shaft extends upperwardly from the rear edge of the lower attaching device and includes a horizontally disposed channel 40 extending therethrough. The lower attaching element and shaft form an integral unit.

[0033] To assemble the present invention, the attaching device is sandwiched between the flange of the seat and the extensions of the lid. This will provide for the extensions of the lid to be at the outmost location and the flanges of the seat to be at the inward most position. The channels of the flanges, extensions, shafts are aligned and a pin 42 is inserted therein. This will provide for the seat and lid to be hingedly secured and enable the unit to be attached to an existing toilet via conventional means.

[0034] Each component of the present invention is fabricated from a polymeric material, preferably a polypropylene that has be mixed with a photoluminescence material, such as Zinc Sulfide or Strontium Aluminate. In the preferred embodiment, Strontium Aluminate is utilized. To increase the life of the glow, an activator, such as europium activator can be provided.

[0035] In the preferred embodiment, the polymeric material will be about 40-60 percent of the total amount of solution. The photoluminescence material will be approximately 30-50 percent of the total solution. The activator, if used is approximately 3 to 10 percent.

[0036] This will provide for the components that include the photoluminescence material to glow in its entirety and thus provide for a truer and longer lasting glow.

EXAMPLE

[0037] By way of example, pluralities of toilets seat covers as illustrated in FIGS. 1-3 have been made and have been utilized. These toilet seat devices have each been made and molded so that each component, including the seat, lid and attaching device includes illumination characteristics. 1

Amount Utilized for formulating
MaterialPresent invention
polypropylene50%
Strontium Aluminate45%
Europium 5%

[0038] The material identified above was mixed to form a substance that was place in a several molds, which are used to make the seat of the present invention. Once formed, the seat were assembled and used by several individuals of various ages and having different levels of dexterity. The users observed that the seat was easy to install on a conventional toilet. Once attached, it was observed that the seat performed exceptionally well. The seat displayed adequate and efficient illumination throughout the night. The glowing was not too overbearing and the users also observed that the seat was structurally stable and extremely durable. In addition, the users also stated that a minimal amount of charging was necessary for rendering adequate glowing capability for the seat and for allowing the seat to glow throughout the night, without dimming.

[0039] Hence, it is seen that the present invention provides a seat that is aesthetically pleasing by providing a device that glows in the absence of light. This seat is versatile and is a seat that would reduce, if not eliminate injuries associated with conventional toilet seats, especially if used in hospitals, hotels, or the like, and if utilized for children, the elderly, and for those with limited dexterity.

[0040] While the invention has been particularly shown and described with reference to an embodiment thereof, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes in form and detail may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.