Title:
Cigarette butt receptable with advertising display
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A cigarette receptacle and information display assembly including a base forming a cavity therein. The base is removably attached to an upper portion, which comprises a cover and a tube. The cover covers the cavity and is coupled to the tube. A passageway is formed within the tube, and the tube has openings at bottom and top ends of the tube so that the passageway is in communication with the cavity. A crown having an opening formed therein is positioned over the top end of the tube. Smoking refuse is inserted into the crown opening and is directed through the passageway and into the cavity, where the refuse is concealed and extinguished. An information display unit is coupled to the tube so that passers-by and smokers are exposed to the information displayed in the display unit.



Inventors:
Goldberg, Kenneth L. (Franklin Park, IL, US)
Gitter, Michael (New York City, NY, US)
Application Number:
10/987519
Publication Date:
05/26/2005
Filing Date:
11/12/2004
Assignee:
GOLDBERG KENNETH L.
GITTER MICHAEL
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A24D1/12; A24F19/10; A24F19/14; G09F23/00; (IPC1-7): A24D1/12
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20080276947Cigarette SubstituteNovember, 2008Martzel
20040118422Tobacco dough and a method for its manufactureJune, 2004Lundin et al.
20080302683Cigarette paper and dispensing packageDecember, 2008Tanzer
20040129283Paper for smoking articlesJuly, 2004Trummer et al.
20060207615Retaining height regulationSeptember, 2006Overath et al.
20080011312Low flame-spreading cigarette paperJanuary, 2008Matsufuji et al.
20090229620Transparent paper, for tobacco-packaging systemSeptember, 2009De Castro
20030226569Smoking system comprised of a jewelry or ornament smoking device and a method of forming a smoking mixtureDecember, 2003Gershbein
20050061338Reduction of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in tobacco smoke using palladium saltsMarch, 2005Olegario et al.
20080216850Restrictor attachment for unfiltered smoking articleSeptember, 2008Li et al.
20080216852Banded cigarette paper with reduced ignition propensitySeptember, 2008Rasouli et al.



Primary Examiner:
NGUYEN, PHU HOANG
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Welsh & Katz, Ltd. (Chicago, IL, US)
Claims:
1. An apparatus for storing cigarette butts and displaying informational material, the apparatus comprising: a base forming a cavity therein, a cover removably attached to the base and covering the cavity; a hollow tube coupled to the cover and defining a passageway; the tube having top and bottom ends, and the passageway being in communication with the cavity; a display unit operatively coupled to the tube, the display unit configured to display information; and wherein the tube includes a tube opening configured to receive smoking refuse so that when the smoking refuse is inserted in the tube opening, the smoking refuse is directed through the passageway to the cavity.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the display unit further comprises at least one frame, each frame including a lower trough for supporting and/or retaining informational materials.

3. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the lower trough further comprises slots defined therein.

4. The apparatus of claim 2, further comprising a transparent shield, wherein the display unit further comprises a shield fastener for removably fastening the shield to the display unit.

5. The apparatus of claim 4, wherein the shield fastener further comprises a screw.

6. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the display unit further comprises three rectangular frames operatively coupled to each other to form a body of the display unit.

7. The apparatus of claim 6, wherein the body further comprise a light source contained therein.

8. The apparatus of claim 6, wherein the display unit further comprises three vertical displays, each vertical display being positioned between with two of said rectangular frames.

9. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a tubular collar having a throughbore and an inside diameter larger than an outside diameter of the tube, the throughbore of collar configured to receive the tube, the display unit including a tube receiving aperture configured to receive a portion of the tube therethrough such that a bottom portion of the display unit is supported by an upper portion of the collar.

10. The apparatus of claim 9, further comprising a neck integrally formed with the cover and the tube, said neck having a diameter larger than a diameter of the tube and larger than a diameter the collar so that when the tube is received within the collar, the neck prevents downward travel of the collar along the tube.

11. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the cover and base further include fasteners adapted to releasably secure the cover to the base.

12. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a crown positioned over the tube opening, the crown including at least one lateral aperture for receiving the smoking refuse.

13. The apparatus of claim 12, wherein the crown is removably attached to the tube.

14. The apparatus of claim 13, wherein the crown is removably attached by nut and bolt fasteners.

15. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein the crown includes a ring-like peripheral portion.

16. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein a top portion of the tube is closed, said tube including a plurality of apertures formed in a sidewall of the tube.

17. A cigarette receptacle and information display assembly comprising: a hollow base having a cavity therein; a cover removably attached to the base and configured to cover the cavity; an elongated hollow tube coupled to the cover and defining a passageway within the tube, the tube having top and bottom open ends, the bottom end operatively coupled to the cover; a display unit having a tube receiving opening formed therein, the display unit being inserted onto the tube so that the tube is received in the tube receiving opening of the tube, wherein the display unit includes three rectangular frames to form a display unit body; a crown removably attached to the top end of the tube by fasteners so that the display unit cannot be removed without removing the crown, wherein the crown includes at least one lateral aperture for receiving smoking refuse such that when smoking refuse is inserted into the lateral aperture, the refuse is directed through the opening of the top end of the tube, through the passageway and into the cavity.

18. The assembly of claim 17, further comprising a neck integrally formed with the cover and the tube, wherein the passageway of the tube passes through an interior portion of the neck and is in communication with the cavity.

19. The assembly of claim 18, further comprising a collar and a washer, the collar having a smaller diameter than the neck and a larger diameter than the tube, the collar disposed over the tube and atop of the neck, wherein the washer is disposed atop of the collar to support the display unit.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This Application claims priority under 35 U.S.C. § 119(e) to, and incorporates by reference in its entirety, U.S. Application No. 60/524,054, filed on Nov. 24, 2003 and entitled “Cigarette Butt Receptacle With Advertising Display.”

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a cigarette butt and advertising display assembly. In particular, the present invention pertains to an assembly configured to receive and extinguish cigarettes and other smoking related refuse while also displaying information, such as advertising information.

The general public has become concerned about the adverse affects of inhaling second hand smoke, prompting laws that regulate smoking indoors. As a result, most workplace buildings and many establishments, such as bars and restaurants, prohibit indoor smoking. To accommodate smoking employees and patrons, the workplace buildings, establishments and other “smoke free” buildings provide “smoking areas” outside of the buildings. In this manner, smokers may smoke a cigarette, cigar or any other smoking item outside of the building and, when finished, reenter the building.

If there are not adequate facilities to extinguish and dispose of the cigarettes near the “smoking areas,” however, smokers tend to discard the cigarette butts on the street, leaving many unsightly cigarette butts and other smoking refuse on the sidewalk or streets. Because the smoking areas are often on sidewalks of streets frequented by many people, including potential bar/restaurant patrons and general customers, the unsightly smoking refuse may deter potential customers and patrons from frequenting the building or establishment.

To address this issue, many buildings have placed ashtray/trash bins outside of the buildings. The ashtray/bins typically include a long cylindrical body with a large opening for trash, and a sand-filled depression positioned atop the body. Smokers can extinguish and dispose of their cigarettes in the sand-filled depression. But, this ashtray/bin also caused problems. If the sand-filled depression is not frequently cleaned, unsightly cigarettes are exposed to the public and, when exposed to precipitation, water mixes with this sand and cigarette butts, resulting in an unpleasant odor and unsightly mixture.

Many establishments and building managers recognized this problem and began utilizing alternate cigarette receptacles. Such alternate cigarette receptacles include a cigarette receptacle in communication with a tube having an opening at the top of the tube in which smoking refuse could be deposited. Such receptacles were able to conceal the unsightly cigarettes, but they failed to exploit the benefit of the many smokers congregating and loitering in the smoking areas.

Specifically, the smoking areas are often located on sidewalks of streets frequented by many people, including potential bar/restaurant patrons and general customers. Because the cigarette receptacle is placed in these highly frequented smoking areas, the receptacles have the potential to expose the public to different types of information, such as advertising information about various products or information in the vicinity where the receptacle is placed.

Accordingly, there exists a need for an improved cigarette receptacle that conceals and extinguishes smoking items, such as cigarettes and cigars, and that also can be used as a device to expose the public to various types of information and advertising.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention pertains to a cigarette receptacle-information display assembly. In one embodiment, the assembly includes a base having a cavity formed therein that is coupled to an upper portion. The upper portion includes a cover that covers the cavity, a neck coupled to the cover, and a tube coupled to the neck and having a passageway formed therein. A collar is fitted onto the tube so that it rests on the neck, which has a larger diameter than that of the tube. A display unit is then placed on the tube so that it is supported by the collar.

The display unit may have various forms and, in a preferred embodiment, includes three display frames that are configured to display informational material for passers-by. A crown is positioned over a top end of the tube and is positioned above the display unit, and must first be removed in order to remove the display unit. Because the crown is removably attached or locked to the tube, unauthorized removal of the display unit is prevented. The crown also includes one or more lateral apertures for accepting smoking refuse.

Specifically, smokers can insert their smoking refuse in the lateral apertures of the crown. The refuse is directed through a crown opening, into the passageway of the tube and into the cavity, where it is deposited and extinguished. In addition, smokers and passers-by are continuously exposed to the information display of the assembly. As a result, the building or establishment may generate advertising revenue by charging others to display advertising materials, display features about their own product or establishment, or display any other information deemed desirable; the possibilities are endless.

These and other features and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following detailed description, in conjunction with the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

The benefits and advantages of the present invention will become more readily apparent to those of ordinary skill in the relevant art after reviewing the following detailed description and accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a an exploded view of a specific embodiment of a cigarette receptacle information display assembly of the invention;

FIG. 2 is an isometric view of an assembled alternate embodiment of a cigarette receptacle information display of the invention; and

FIG. 3 is an illustration of a display unit of the assembly shown in FIG. 2 with informational material and a shield being inserted into a display frame.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

While the present invention is susceptible of embodiment in various forms, there is shown in the drawings and will hereinafter be described a presently preferred embodiment with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered an exemplification of the invention and is not intended to limit the invention to the specific embodiment illustrated.

It should be further understood that the title of this section of this specification, namely, “Detailed Description Of The Invention,” relates to a requirement of the United States Patent Office, and does not imply, nor should be inferred to limit the subject matter disclosed herein.

In the present disclosure, the words “a” or “an” are to be taken to include both the singular and the plural. Conversely, any reference to plural items shall, where appropriate, include the singular.

One specific embodiment of the invention pertains to a cigarette receptacle and information display assembly that conceals and extinguishes cigarette butts and other smoking refuse, while also exposing the public to information, for example, advertising information.

FIG. 1 shows an exploded view of a first embodiment of a cigarette receptacle-information display unit assembly 10 of the invention. A base 11 having a cavity 12 formed therein is coupled to an upper portion 14. In one embodiment, a bucket 16 is positioned within the cavity 12 and preferably includes sand or the like. As is explained in greater detail below, the bucket 16 receives and extinguishes cigarettes butts and other smoking refuse. In a preferred embodiment, the base 11 also includes a security device 13, which may include, for example, a hook coupled to a security cable 17, as shown in FIGS. 1-2.

The upper portion 14 may be coupled to the base 11 directly or indirectly. In the embodiments shown in FIGS. 1-2, the upper portion 14 may be directly coupled to the base 11 by base fasteners 15 so that the upper portion is removably attached to the base. By being removably attached, the upper portion 14 may be removed from the base 11 when the bucket 16 is filled with cigarette butts and other smoking refuse. The bucket 16 can then be emptied and reinserted in the cavity 12, and the upper portion 14 can then be repositioned atop the base 11. Those of skill in the art will appreciate that various fastening mechanisms may be used to couple the base and upper portion together, such as male and female threading on the upper portion and the base, nut and bolt fasteners, clasp closures, screw fasteners and the like.

The upper portion 14 includes a cover 20, a neck 18 and an elongated tube 22. As is explained in greater detail below, a crown 24 is positioned on the tube 22. The cover 20 covers the cavity 12 of the base 16 and is coupled to the neck 18, which in turn is coupled to the hollow tube 22. The neck 18 and tube 22 preferably form a passageway 26 therein, which is in communication with the cavity 12. In the embodiments shown in FIGS. 1-2, the cover 20, neck 18 and tube 22 are integral with each another and form a unitary upper portion 14. Those of skill in the art appreciate that, in other embodiments of the invention, the neck, cover and tube may be connected to one another by various fastening mechanisms, or may be formed of separate pieces or of different material. Further, in other embodiments, the upper portion may include a tube coupled to the cover and need not have a neck.

As shown in FIGS. 1-3, an information display unit 28 configured to display informational materials 30 is operatively coupled to the tube 22. The information display unit 28 can include, for example, various product advertisements, menus, and any other type of information that can be displayed. In this manner, potential patrons of the establishment may be exposed to various types of information that the establishment or building wishes to display. Further, smoking patrons of the establishment and/or workers in the building are exposed to the information while smoking outside. As a result, the establishment or other entity can generate additional revenue from others to display advertising information on the display unit 28, or further promote its own establishment or other products to passers-by.

The information display unit 28 may have various forms. For example, in the embodiment of FIG. 1, the information display unit 28 includes three frames 32, each configured to house informational materials 30. The three frames 32 can be connected to or may be integral with three vertical display portions 34. The frames 32 and the vertical display portions 34 may be integral with one another to form a display unit body 35, which includes a cylindrical receiving opening 36 formed therein. In addition to inserting informational material 30 into the frames 32 (FIG. 3), information may be printed on or affixed to the vertical displays 34—allowing for increased display space. In the embodiments of FIGS. 2-3, the information display unit 28′ includes three frames 32 but does not include the vertical displays 34 of FIG. 1.

The frames 32 shown in FIGS. 1-3 include upper and lower troughs 39, 40 and a shield 42. The shield 42 is preferably transparent to protect the informational material 30 while permitting viewing thereof. As shown in FIG. 3, informational material 30 and the shield 42 may be inserted into and held in place between the troughs 39, 40. In a preferred embodiment shown in FIG. 3, the lower trough 40 includes slots 44 formed therein so that during precipitation, water does not collect in the lower trough. The informational material 30 and shield 42 are removably fastened to the information display unit 28 by fasteners 46 so that the informational material cannot be tampered with, yet may still be changed by authorized personnel when desired. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 3, screw fasteners 46 may be used to fasten the informational material 30 and cover 42 to the display unit 28′. Security-type screws or locking screws may be used.

Those of skill in the art will appreciate that the display unit 28 may also have other configurations. For example, the display unit 28 may incorporate as little as one display frame to as many as the tube can support. Further, the shape of the display frame need not be rectangular, and in other embodiments it may be circular, triangular or any other polygonal shape. In alternate embodiments, the display unit 28 may include a light, such as an LED or bulb, positioned within the display unit. The informational materials may also be relatively thin or translucent and, as such, the informational materials may be back-lit by the LED or bulb positioned within the display unit 28. In yet other embodiments, light sensors may be in communication with the lights so that when there is sufficient ambient brightness, the light is not activated, and when there is insufficient ambient brightness, the light is activated. In addition, fastening mechanisms other than the screw-type fasteners, such as nut and bolt fasteners, may be used to fasten the cover and informational material to the display unit.

As shown in the embodiment of FIG. 1, the display unit 28 may be coupled to the tube 22 by sliding the display unit onto the tube 22 so that the tube is received in the tube receiving opening 36 of the display unit. Preferably, the height at which the information display unit 28 appears may be adjusted by the use of a collar 38. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the collar 38 may be slid onto the tube 22 and may atop of the neck 18. The longer the collar 38, the greater the height of the information display unit 28. Conversely, the shorter the collar 38, the lower the height of the information display unit 28. The collar 38 preferably has a diameter that is larger than that of the tube 22 but smaller than that of the neck 18 so that the neck acts as a stop for the collar. Note that in other embodiments not incorporating a neck, the collar may have a diameter larger than that of the tube and rests atop the cover of the upper portion.

The embodiment of FIG. 1 may incorporate a washer 41 that is used in conjunction with the collar 38, such that the information display unit 28 may rest atop the washer. The washer 41 not only relieves some of the load from the information display unit 28, but also facilitates spinning of the information display unit on the tube 22. Note that in other embodiments, the information display unit may sit atop the collar without the washer and, in such embodiments, the information display unit may still spin relative to the tube. In yet other embodiments, a display unit base may have the same general shape as a planar cross-section of the display unit body. For example, if the display unit has a triangular shape when observed from a top view, the display unit base may also have a triangular shape when observed from a top view. The display unit sits atop the display unit base. Those of skill in the art will appreciate that other modifications of the washer and display unit base are within the spirit and scope of the invention.

The embodiments of FIGS. 1-3 may incorporate the crown 24 positioned atop of the tube 22. The crown 24 may include a bottom periphery 45 that covers a top end of the tube and covers the opening 50 of the tube. Preferably, the crown 24 includes lateral apertures 48 formed therein, which are in communication with the opening 50 to permit the smoking items to travel the length of the tube 22 and into the bucket 16. The lateral apertures 48 may be sufficiently large to accommodate cigarette butts, cigar butts and other smoking refuse. As shown in the alternate embodiment of FIG. 2, the crown 24′ may include a ring-like protruding periphery 54 similar in shape to an ashtray that smokers can rest their smoking items thereon.

When smoking refuse is inserted into the lateral aperture 48, the smoking refuse passes through the tube opening 50 at the top of the tube 22, down the passage way 26 and into the cavity 12, it is extinguished and concealed. By incorporating a closed crown 24 with lateral openings 50, the crown desirably prevents water from entering the tube passageway 26 during precipitation.

As shown in the embodiment of FIG. 3, crown fasteners 52 removably attach the crown 24 to the tube 22. The crown fasteners 52 may include, for example, nut and bolt fasteners, screw fasteners and the like. The crown 24 is positioned above the display unit, and thus must be removed to permit removal of the display unit 28, 28′. Because the crown 24, 24′ is attached to the tube 22 with fasteners 52, or other security-type fastening devices, passers-by are prevented from casually removing the display unit 28, 28′ from the tube. Those of skill in the art will appreciate that in other embodiments, a crown need not be incorporated in the cigarette receptacle-display unit assembly. Alternatively, the end of the tube may be closed and protrude above the display unit and include an opening in a periphery of the tube into which smokers may insert smoking refuse. In yet other embodiments, a tube may simply include an opening at its upper portion that remains uncovered. In such embodiments, the display unit may also be removably attached to the tube with security fasteners to prevent unauthorized removal.

In one specific embodiment, the cigarette receptacle-information display assembly 10 is about 48″ tall and is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements. In another embodiment, the assembly 10 may be about 36″ tall. Those of skill in the art will appreciate that the assembly 10 can be of any suitable dimension.

From the foregoing it will be observed that numerous modifications and variations can be made to the invention without departing from the true spirit and scope of the novel concepts of the present invention. It is to be understood that no limitation with respect to the specific embodiments illustrated is intended or to be inferred. The disclosure is intended to cover all such modifications as fall within the scope of the invention.