Title:
Dust pan ice scraper
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A refuse pan has an elongated edge sufficiently hard and strong to operate as an ice scraper. A kit that includes the pan and a brush is sized and dimensioned as an automobile valet kit, and is marketed as such. The ice scraper portion of the pan can be made of plastic or any other suitable material.



Inventors:
Dillon, John J. (Carlsbad, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/868547
Publication Date:
12/15/2005
Filing Date:
06/14/2004
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
15/236.02, 15/257.9
International Classes:
A46B17/08; A47L1/06; A47L1/16; A47L13/52; (IPC1-7): A47L1/06; A47L13/52
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SPISICH, MARK
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RUTAN & TUCKER, LLP (Irvine, CA, US)
Claims:
1. An improved refuse pan having a body that defines a wall of a cavity for holding refuse, and an opening for brushing refuse into the cavity, the improvement comprising an elongated edge sufficiently hard and strong to operate as an ice scraper.

2. The pan of claim 1 wherein the edge is at least 4 cm long.

3. The pan of claim 1 wherein the edge is at least 8 cm long.

4. The pan of claim 1 wherein the edge is substantially linear along at least 4 cm of its length.

5. The pan of claim 1 wherein the edge comprises a plastic.

6. The pan of claim 1 wherein the body and the edge comprise different chemical compositions.

7. The pan of claim 1 wherein the edge is continuous with the body at a corner.

8. The pan of claim 1 wherein the edge is disposed on a back side of the body, opposite the opening of the cavity.

9. The pan of claim 1 wherein the edge is disposed as a ramp near an opening of the cavity so that the edge can be used to brush refuse into the cavity.

10. The pan of claim 1 wherein the edge is at least 8 cm long, is substantially linear along at least 4 cm of its length, is disposed on the body other than at the opening of the cavity, and comprises a plastic.

11. A valet kit comprising the refuse pan of claim 1 and a brush having a plurality of bristles sized and dimensioned to be stored substantially within the cavity.

12. The valet kit of claim 11, wherein the brush has a handle that extends outside the cavity when the bristles are stored within the cavity.

13. The valet kit of claim 11, including an advertisement identifying the kit for automotive use.

14. A method of marketing a brush, comprising: advertising the brush for automotive use; combining the brush with the refuse pan according to claim 1; and further advertising that the refuse pan can be used as an ice scraper.

Description:

BACKGROUND

There are seemingly innumerable broom and dust pan combinations (kits) on the market. Many such kits are directed to household use, and for example, have a brush handle that is a meter and a half long. Such kits are not suitable for automotive use because they are not properly sized and dimensioned to be conveniently used in the closed spaced of a car.

Of course, broom and dust pan kits are known for automotive use, and are typically called auto valet kits. While useful for cleaning purposes, the known auto valet kits are not structurally robust enough to use as an ice scraper. Thus, an automobile operator in a wintry climate will often carry an ice scraper in addition to an auto valet kit. In addition to being inefficient, the carrying of an ordinary ice scraper and an ordinary auto valet kit means that the there is little market for a high end kit.

Thus, there is still a need for a combination auto valet kit that also has useful functionality as an ice scraper.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides apparatus, systems and methods in which a refuse pan has an elongated edge sufficiently hard and strong to operate as an ice scraper.

In preferred refuse pans the edge is at least 4 cm long, and more preferably at least 8 cm long. The edge can be positioned anywhere on the pan, including the front of the pan, and most preferably the backside of the body, opposite the opening of the cavity. Ideally, the edge would be continuous with the body of the pan at one or two corners.

The pan can comprise any suitable material or materials, including plastics. Where plastics are used, the edge and the remainder of the pan can comprise different chemical compositions.

Valet kits are contemplated that include a refuse pan with an ice scraper edge, and a brush that sized and dimensioned to be stored substantially within the cavity. The brush portion preferably extends outside the cavity of the pan. Valet kits are preferably marketed with a focus on the ice scraper edge.

Various objects, features, aspects and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description of preferred embodiments of the invention, along with the accompanying drawings in which like numerals represent like components.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

FIG. 1 is a partially exploded plan view of a valet kit containing a brush and a refuse pan having an ice scraper edge.

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the valet kit of FIG. 1, in which the bristles of the brush are fully inserted into the pan.

FIG. 3 is a side view of the valet kit of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a plan view of packaging for the sponge/cloth combination of FIGS. 1-3, showing suggested automotive use.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

In FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 a valet kit 10 generally includes a brush 20 and a refuse pan 30 having an ice scraper edge 32.

The brush 10 of FIG. 1 is sized as a valet brush for automotive use, being approximately 6″ (≈15.5 cm) long, (from the crown of the handle 12 to the ice scraper edge 32) and approximately 6.3″ (≈21 cm) wide (across the edge 32). The width is preferably, but not necessarily longer than the length. Other sizes are contemplated from about 12 cm to 19 cm long, and from about 17 cm to about 25 cm wide. All ranges described herein are deemed to be inclusive of their endpoints.

Brush 10 advantageously has a stubby handle 12 with a soft touch material 14 to improve the “feel” of the brush. The bristles 13 are made of nylon or other durable and relatively stiff material.

The pan 30 has a body 34 that defines a cavity 36 into which the bristles of the brush can be fully inserted as shown in FIG. 2. The body 30 has a height, preferably between about 3 cm to cm, which is suitable to its length and width. The body can comprise any suitable material, including metal, wood or plastic. Plastic is preferred, with the body comprising any suitable hard plastic, and the ice scraper portion comprising a hard acrylic.

In FIG. 4 the valet kit 10 of FIGS. 1-3 is packaged along with marketing materials advertising the kit for automotive use, and emphasizing that the refuse pan can be used as an ice scraper. The marketing materials include an image 42 of a person using the ice scraper to remove snow and ice from an automobile windshield, and corresponding text 44.

Thus, specific embodiments and applications of a refuse pan with an ice scraper edge have been disclosed. It should be apparent, however, to those skilled in the art that many more modifications besides those already described are possible without departing from the inventive concepts herein. The inventive subject matter, therefore, is not to be restricted except in the spirit of the appended claims. Moreover, in interpreting both the specification and the claims, all terms should be interpreted in the broadest possible manner consistent with the context. In particular, the terms “comprises” and “comprising” should be interpreted as referring to elements, components, or steps in a non-exclusive manner, indicating that the referenced elements, components, or steps may be present, or utilized, or combined with other elements, components, or steps that are not expressly referenced.