Title:
Foldable ashtray
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A disposable ashtray available in multiple quantities and put together in a package or attached to a cigarette pack for quick and convenient access. The ashtray comes in a folded flat arrangement that can be opened up to form a box shape for a convenient use. When the ashtray is filled out with bits and pieces of cigarette litter it is folded back and squeezed into a round shape that safely holds cigarette litter inside preventing it from spilling, dropping out and giving up odors. The folded piece can be disposed of at a garbage receptacle or can be temporarily placed in a pocket, bag, etc., for further disposal. It is inexpensive, convenient and can be obtained in multiple quantities. It can be disposed of immediately or at a later time as it safely holds cigarette litter inside.



Inventors:
Galoyan, Jeff G. (Walnut Creek, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/605023
Publication Date:
05/29/2008
Filing Date:
11/29/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A24F19/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NGUYEN, PHU HOANG
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JEFF GALOYAN (OAKLAND, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A disposable and foldable ashtray in the shape of a flat folded packet, comprising: thin and foldable fire resisting material formed into an ashtray; wherein said ashtray is folded into a compact package for storage prior to use; wherein a number of said ashtrays are combined into a pack; wherein said packaged ashtray is pulled out from the pack and unfolded to form an ashtray including four side walls and a bottom capable of accepting cigarette residues or similar litter; wherein said ashtray is being collapsed and crumpled back into a creased ball holding cigarette residues inside; wherein said creased ball safely keeps the inside content from dropping out and emitting odors until it is disposed of.

2. A disposable ashtray of claim 1 wherein it is attached to the backside of a cigarette pack for occasional use, unfolded by pulling off the upper portion of the ashtray by a tag to form an ashtray of claim 1 that is still attached to the pack on lower side and remains like that while in use, further pulled out to be detached from the pack after final consumption, collapsed into a ball shaped package holding cigarette trash inside, and disposed of at convenience.

3. A disposable ashtray of claim 1 wherein an additional extinguishing pad is incorporated and attached to the bottom of the ashtray, comprising of two thin plastic layers filled out with liquid gel in between them that is encapsulated in squares capable of quick melting at continuous contact with heated objects such as burning or smoldering cigarette ends, and thus allowing penetration of gel into cigarette's burning end to extinguish it.

Description:

FIELD OF INVENTION

The present invention relates to ashtrays, more particularly to an ashtray that is foldable, disposable, pocketable and available in multiple quantities. It can be used separately or come combined with a cigarette pack.

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

A great diversity of various ashtrays is available for service. Most of them are designed for a static use; many are designed to be portable and disposable. Yet a large amount of cigarette litter is being left in public areas where a smoker may occasionally light a cigarette and discard the butt simply because there are no available ashtrays around. Not only it results in an unclean contaminated and foul environment but in some cases may also lead to fire hazards.

In an attempt to alleviate this problem a number of authors suggested disposable ashtrays or ashtrays built into a cigarette pack for quick access. These prior art ashtrays in general have relatively complicated design that suggests cigarette pack modification and will likely require broad changes to manufacturing lines. The matrix of prior art is extensive. Therefore mentioned herein are only a few ashtray inventions that include some of the desired attributes.

Of particular interest is U.S. Pat. No. 7,036,701 to Garcia which discloses a trash disposal devise made of heat resistant material that can be shaped from a roll to an ashtray like shape and later folded to an package and discarded. Other prior art includes U.S. Pat. No. 6,990,983 to Lyman; U.S. Pat. No. 6,726,076 to Hernandez; U.S. Pat. No. 5,996,588 to Abrines Amer.

However none of the above provides a non-expensive ashtray that can be obtained at all smoking areas or tobacco stores along with a pack of cigarettes and paper matches, that will come in multiple quantities and that can be used for simply one cigarette only and discarded immediately after folding it into a ball-like package safely containing litter from the environment.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

The object of invention is to provide an inexpensive and disposable ashtray that comes in multiple quantities put together in packs and that can be obtained routinely along with a pack of cigarettes and paper matches in gas stations or similar stores.

It is a further object of the invention to provide disposable ashtrays that are made of thin, foldable and fire-retardant material that can be unfolded for usage and crumpled back to safely contain cigarette litter inside prior to disposal.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a disposable ashtray that can be attached to the cigarette pack in the factory and can be unfolded to form an ashtray that after usage can be removed from the pack, folded to hold the ash and litter inside and disposed of at convenience.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a disposable ashtray for occasional use for simply a single cigarette that can be folded to contain remnants of the cigarette to prevent accidental pollution of the environment.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF FIGURES

The present invention will become more fully understood from the detailed description given herein below and the accompanying drawings which are given by way of illustration only, and thus are not limitative of the present invention, and wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a package containing plurality of disposable ashtrays according to the present invention;

FIG. 2a) is a perspective view of a package of disposable ashtrays in open position with one ashtray half pulled out;

FIG. 2b) is a single ashtray pulled out of the pack and positioned horizontally;

FIG. 2c) is a single ashtray half unfolded;

FIG. 2d) is a single ashtray fully open;

FIG. 2e) is a single ashtray filled with symbolic ash, butts, etc.;

FIG. 2f) is a single ashtray folded into a small package containing litter;

FIG. 3a) is a perspective view of a cigarette pack with a single ashtray attached to the backside of the pack;

FIG. 3b) is a cigarette pack with an attached ashtray half unfolded;

FIG. 3c) is a cigarette pack with a fully unfolded ashtray;

FIG. 3d) is an ashtray removed from the cigarette pack;

FIG. 3e) is a removed ashtray filled with cigarette litter;

FIG. 3f) is a removed ashtray crumpled to constrain cigarette litter inside.

FIG. 4 is an ashtray in service while still attached to the pack.

FIG. 5 is an additional extinguishing pad.

FIG. 6 is a foldable ashtray with cigarette holding slots.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF INVENTION

Though the following detailed description contains many specifics for illustration purposes, anyone of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that many variations and alterations to the following details are within the scope of the invention. Accordingly, the following preferred embodiment of the invention is set forth without any loss of generality to, and without imposing limitations upon, the claimed invention. It is also to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.

FIG. 1 illustrates a preferred embodiment of the invention. Box 1 containing five folded ashtrays is open and a single ashtray 2 is half way pulled out. Similar to cigarette packs the box 1 can be opened by removing the upper cover. For illustration purposes box 1 is shown as open. Each ashtray 2 is individually wrapped in a plastic cover for temporary protection and for keeping it packed before usage.

FIG. 2a) shows an embodiment of the ashtray similar to FIG. 1. It is shown for continuous illustration purposes. Ashtray 2 is being pulled out from the pack for utilization.

FIG. 2b) shows an ashtray horizontally positioned and ready to be unfolded by means of pulling tags 3 to opposite directions.

FIG. 2c) shows at least one embodiment of the ashtray 2 including preferred arrangement of folding configuration. It is to be understood that the geometry of the folding method is not limited to the configuration set forth in the drawings.

FIG. 2d) shows ashtray 2 that is completely unfolded and ready for use.

FIG. 2e) shows ashtray 2 filled with cigarette residue 4 and ready to be disposed of. The ashtray is made of heat resisting and foldable material that can be crumpled into a small package containing cigarette residue inside.

FIG. 2f) shows scrunched up ashtray that is ready to be disposed of. The ashtray material must be able to maintain in compressed form to keep ash and butts safely inside and prevent them from producing odors or from dropping out. The crushed ashtray may be cast off immediately or placed in a pocket, purse, briefcase, etc., for later disposal.

FIG. 3a) illustrates another embodiment of the invention where ashtray 2 similar to configuration described in FIG. 2c) comes attached to the backside of a cigarette pack 5 in the factory. FIG. 3b) shows half unfolded ashtray with one side attached to the pack by means of glue bars 6. Glue 6 used for this purpose is not provided for permanent attachment but rather for temporarily holding ashtray 2 in place. FIG. 3c) shows fully unfolded ashtray 2 that is still attached to the pack. Combination of pack 5 and ashtray 2 can be positioned on any flat surface for providing more stability to the ashtray. FIG. 3d) shows ashtray 2 being removed from pack 5. FIG. 3e) and 3f) are similar to FIG. 2e) and 2f) and provided to complete the logical sequence of figures depicting ashtray/pack combination usage.

FIG. 4 shows another way of utilizing the attached foldable ashtray 2. At certain outdoor occasions where a supporting surface is not available pack 4 can be used as a handle to hold ashtray 2 while it is in use. It can also be placed on a flat surface to be used as a combination of a cigarette pack with an ashtray.

The above arrangement is intended to provide a temporary disposable ashtray when regular disposal receptacles are not available. Ashtray 2 comes combined with a cigarette pack and always available for emergency use. It is intended to save the environment from occasional littering and odors.

From manufacturing perspective the above arrangement of pack/ashtray as depicted in FIG. 3 series does not require change in package design and manufacturing process. It allows relatively easy adjustment of the manufacturing line to accommodate attached foldable ashtray.

As additional means of extinguishing cigarettes and preventing fire hazards a special pad can be provided inside the folded ashtray. As it is shown in FIG. 5 it consists of two thin layers 7 made of plastic material with liquid gel 8 encapsulated in between layers. The upper and lower plastic layers are attached to form longitudinal tubes filled with gel 8 in order to prevent its free movement between layers. Upon continuous contact with burning tobacco the upper plastic will melt letting the gel penetrate into the burning cigarette end thus fully extinguishing it.

FIG. 6 shows an ashtray with cigarette holding slots. Pull off tags are made wider and positioned below slots on opposite sides of the ashtray. After the ashtray is completely unfolded cigarettes may be positioned at the slots supported with pull off tags below.

With respect to the above description then, it is to be realized that the optimum dimensional relationships for the parts of the invention, to include variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and manner of operation, assembly and use, are deemed readily apparent and obvious to one skilled in the art, and all equivalent relationships to those illustrated in the drawings and described in the specification are intended to be encompassed by the present invention.

Therefore the foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly, all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.