Title:
Article of manufacture for application as a universal lid closure for underground landscape boxes
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An article of manufacture for application as a universal lid closure for underground landscape boxes. In a preferred embodiment a lid closure that universally adapts to all underground landscape boxes by the design of the flexible flap width, A lid closure that universally adapts to all underground landscape boxes by the design of the flexible flap length, a plurality of flexible flaps that prevent accidental lid removal by exerting force at a precise angle on the underground landscape box wall, a lid top that is manufactured to enclose all box opening circumferences in each box class, and a plurality of flexible flaps molded at a precise angle to horizontal to deter fatigue within the flexible flap.



Inventors:
Kearby, Don Michael (Caddo, TX, US)
Sofyanos, John Cary (Spicewood, TX, US)
Wickham, Jimmie Howard (Irving, TX, US)
Application Number:
11/326023
Publication Date:
07/19/2007
Filing Date:
01/05/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
220/789
International Classes:
B65D41/06; B65D39/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
HYLTON, ROBIN ANNETTE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ANDRUS INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW, LLP (MILWAUKEE, WI, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An article of manufacture for application as a universal lid closure for underground landscape boxes. comprising: A lid closure that universally adapts to all underground landscape boxes by the design of the flexible flap width; A lid closure that universally adapts to all underground landscape boxes by the design of the flexible flap length; A plurality of flexible flaps that prevent accidental lid removal by exerting force at a precise angle on the underground landscape box wall; A lid top that is manufactured to enclose all box opening circumferences in each box class; and A plurality of flexible flaps molded at a precise angle to horizontal to deter fatigue within the flexible flap.

2. The invention of claim 1 wherein the lid closure contains a plurality of flexible flaps selectively molded into said lid closure.

3. The invention of claim 1 wherein a plurality of flexible flaps are molded at a precise angle to deter fatigue in said flexible flap.

4. The invention of claim 1 wherein the lid closure diameter is designed to fit all current and future manufactured underground landscape boxes.

5. The invention of claim 1 wherein the lid closure universally adapts to all current and future manufactured underground landscape boxes by design of the width and length of the flexible flap.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not Applicable

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable

DESCRIPTION OF ATTACHED APPENDIX

Not Applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Underground landscape boxes are used by many industries as a means of housing components of the particular industry. Underground landscape boxes are almost used exclusively in landscape but can be used in a number of other areas such as large concrete areas. The underground landscape box may house electrical connections, electric valves, water shut-off valves, and cable TV connections. These samples are just a few of the many and varied applications.

As underground landscape boxes have grown in popular use, more manufacturers have emerged, each making their box unique as to size and specification. The uniqueness of each box can be seen in box circumference. In the class, econo-box, the circumference may vary from 6 ¼″ all the way to 7″. This difference in circumference means the corresponding lid closure will vary in its diameter resulting in as many lid closure sizes as there are manufacturers.

Over time, as millions of underground landscape boxes have been installed, the lids are subject to needed replacement from deterioration, or removal by vandalism or removal by gas powered equipment. When the end user needs to replace missing lids, they are often forced to dig up the entire underground box body and replace said box with whatever manufactured brand their local wholesaler or retailer might be carrying in any particular year.

The wholesaler and retailer arbitrarily change manufacturers over time due to better pricing, better warranty, or rebate incentives. As more and more manufacturers have entered into the same markets, wholesalers and retailers are forced to make inventory decisions based on replacement market sales. The decisions are: 1. carry multiple manufactured lines of underground landscape boxes thereby increasing inventory levels. Or 2. carry one line of underground landscape boxes and lose replacement sales to their competitors.

PREVIOUS ART

YearPatent #InventorDescription
19864,591,290PrescottCombination Adjustable Valve Box
Adapter and Replacement for Broken Valve Boxes
19955,394,898TurnerValve Box Adapter
20036,568,420RennValve Box

In previous searched patent applications, the Prescott Patent was issued based on fixing broken boxes by placing an insertion device inside the underground box wall. This then allowed a smaller lid to be used on the box.

The Prescott patent has two problems with its methodology. 1. It uses an insertion device and then a replacement lid, which accounts for two parts, and two stock keeping units for the wholesaler or retailer to inventory. 2. It involves using a smaller lid whereas the present application has one lid that will universally fit all currently manufactured and future manufactured underground landscape boxes.

No prior technology makes a replacement lid that can be used as closure for all manufactured products on the market today or for future manufactured product.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The primary object of the invention is to provide a universal lid closure for underground landscape boxes.

Another object of this invention is to provide a lid closure that universally adapts to all underground landscape boxes by the design of a flexible flap with a specific width.

Another object of the invention is to provide a lid closure that universally adapts to all underground landscape boxes by the design of a flexible flap with a specific length.

Another object of the invention is to provide a plurality of flexible flaps that prevent accidental lid removal by exerting force at a precise angle on the underground box wall.

Another object of the invention is to provide a lid top that is manufactured to enclose all underground landscape box opening circumferences in each individual box class.

Another object of this invention is to provide a plurality of flexible flaps molded at a precise angle to horizontal to deter fatigue within the flexible flap.

Another object of this invention is to provide one Stock Keeping Unit as a means of inventory control.

Yet another object of this invention is to provide a replacement solution to prevent unnecessary labor associated with replacing outdated or no longer manufactured underground landscape boxes.

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, an embodiment of the present invention is disclosed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The drawings constitute a part of this specification and include exemplary embodiments to the invention, which may be embodied in various forms. It is to be understood that in some instances various aspects of the invention may be shown exaggerated or enlarged to facilitate an understanding of the invention.

FIG. 1. is a perspective view of the invention showing the flexible flaps from the lid underside.

FIG. 2. is a perspective view of the invention showing the lid engagement points to the underground landscape box.

FIG. 3. is another perspective view of the invention showing the lid engagement points to the underground landscape box.

FIG. 4. is a perspective view of the invention showing the lid top with the precision cuts for the flexible flaps.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

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.

Turning first to FIG. 1 there is shown the underside of the universal underground landscape box lid 10 illustrating the flexible flaps 11a and 11b. A plurality of flexible flaps 11a and 11b are provided with said lid. 10. The flexible flaps 11a and 11b are of varying widths and lengths to accommodate and engage varying circumference and engagement rings of specific manufactured underground landscape boxes. The smaller width and length flexible flaps 11b are used to engage small circumference underground landscape boxes with a high engagement point of contact and a high engagement ring. The larger width and length flexible flaps 11a are used to engage larger circumference underground landscape boxes with a lower point of contact and a low engagement ring. The precision angle cut to horizontal of the flexible flaps 11a and 11b allow for the flexible flap to maintain its energy when contacting the underground landscape box inner wall 31 thus preventing accidental removal of the universal box lid 10.

Referring now to FIG. 2 there is shown an underground landscape box 30 and said box's inner wall 31 where the flexible flaps 11b of the universal lid 10 would contact and engage the inner wall 31 and the inner wall engagement ring 34.

Referring now FIG. 3 there is shown an underground landscape box 30 and said box's inner wall 31 where the flexible flaps 11a would contact and engage the inner wall 31 and where the flexible flaps 11a would engage the inner wall engagement ring 34.

Referring now to FIG. 4 there is shown the top side of the universal lid 10 illustrating the precision angles 20 cut into the universal lid 10. The precision angles 20 cut to horizontal allow for energy retention of the flexible flap 11a and 11b in insertion and removal of the universal lid 10.

While the invention has been 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.