Title:
Attachment for a cigarette box
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An advertisement medium containing an advertisement that is fashioned for attachment to a cigarette box. The advertisement medium is integrated with one or more consumable item(s) which provides the individual holding the cigarette box with incentive to keep the advertisement medium attached to the cigarette box. Furthermore, presenting a consumable item(s) in combination with a message/advertisement on a cigarette box also allows for promotion of the consumable item(s) in combination with the presentation of an intended message. The advertisement medium may be integrated with a base material which retains the consumable item(s), while in a different embodiment, the advertisement may be presented on the consumable item(s) itself.



Inventors:
Bahar, Reuben (West Hills, CA, US)
Khorshid, Barsin Famil (Van Nuys, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/002995
Publication Date:
06/05/2008
Filing Date:
12/19/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
40/312, 40/321, 206/459.5
International Classes:
A24F15/00; A24F15/18; B65D25/20; B65D85/00; B65D85/10
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
FIDEI, DAVID
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Reuben Bahar (West Hills, CA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. Apparatus for displaying a message comprising in combination: a. a base retaining at least one consumable item; b. a message for display on said base; c. element for attaching said base to a package containing a tobacco product.

2. The apparatus recited in claim 1, wherein said at least 1 consumable item is removably retained by said base.

3. The apparatus recited in claim 1, wherein said package contains cigarettes.

4. The apparatus recited in claim 1, wherein said consumable item is edible.

5. The apparatus recited in claim 4, wherein said edible consumable item is candy, mints, gum, medical lozenges, medicine, or a combination thereof.

6. The apparatus recited by claim 1, wherein said attachment element includes adhesive material.

7. The apparatus recited in claim 1, wherein said message is non-detachably integrated with said base.

8. The apparatus recited in claim 1, wherein said message is contained on a medium for attachment to said base.

9. The apparatus recited in claim 1, wherein said base has a central width positioned along a first surface of said package containing a tobacco product and wherein said base further includes a first portion extending from an opposing side of the central width thereof, said first side portion being positioned along a second surface of said package containing a tobacco product and having at least one consumable item attached thereto.

10. The apparatus recited in claim 9, wherein said base has a second side portion extending from a second opposing side of the central width thereof, said second side portion being positioned along a third surface of said package containing a tobacco product and having at least one consumable item attached thereto.

11. The apparatus recited in claim 1, wherein said consumable item is enclosed in a package that is attached to said base.

12. The apparatus recited in claim 1, wherein said base comprises packaging for said at least one consumable item.

13. The apparatus recited in claim 1, wherein said message is contained on a medium, said medium being attachable to said base.

14. A method for displaying a message comprising the steps of: a. providing a base having at least one consumable item attached thereto; b. providing a message for display on said base; c. requiring said base to be attached to a package containing a tobacco product.

15. The apparatus recited in claim 14, wherein said message is non-detachably integrated with said base.

16. The method recited in claim 14, wherein said message is contained on a medium for attachment to said base.

17. The method recited in claim 14, wherein said base has a central width positioned along a first surface of said package containing a tobacco product and wherein said base further includes a first portion extending from an opposing side of the central width thereof, said first side portion being positioned along a second surface of said package containing a tobacco product and having at least one consumable item attached thereto.

18. The apparatus recited in claim 17, wherein said base has a second side portion extending from a second opposing side of the central width thereof, said second side portion being positioned along a third surface of said package containing a tobacco product and having at least one consumable item attached thereto.

19. The method recited in claim 14, wherein said consumable item is enclosed in a package that is attached to said base.

20. The method recited in claim 14, wherein said base comprises packaging for said at least one consumable item.

21. The method recited in claim 20, wherein said message is contained on a medium, said medium being attached to said base.

22. Apparatus for displaying a message comprising in combination: a. a base displaying a message; b. at least one consumable item; c. element for attaching said base to a package containing a tobacco product; d. element for attaching said at least one consumable item to said package containing a tobacco product.

23. The apparatus recited in claim 22, wherein said at least 1 consumable item is removably retained to said package containing a tobacco product.

24. The apparatus recited in claim 22, wherein said package contains cigarettes.

25. The apparatus recited in claim 22, wherein said consumable compact item is edible.

26. The apparatus recited in claim 25, wherein said edible consumable compact item is candy, mints, gum, medical lozenges, medicine, or a combination thereof.

27. The apparatus recited in claim 22, wherein said consumable item is packaged, said packaged consumable item being attached to said package containing a tobacco product via said consumable item packaging.

28. The apparatus recited in claim 22, wherein said attachment element includes adhesive material.

29. A method for displaying a message comprising the steps of: a. providing a base that displays a message; b. providing at least one consumable item; c. requiring said base to be attached to a package containing a tobacco product; d. requiring said at least one consumable item to be attached to said same package containing a tobacco product.

30. The method recited in claim 29, wherein said consumable item is packaged, said packaged consumable item being attached to said package containing a tobacco product via said consumable item packaging.

31. Apparatus for displaying a message comprising in combination: a. a base retaining at least one consumable item; b. a message displayed on said consumable item; c. element for attaching said base to a package containing a tobacco product.

32. The apparatus recited in claim 31, wherein said at least 1 consumable item is removably retained to said package containing a tobacco product.

33. The apparatus recited in claim 31, wherein said package contains cigarettes.

34. The apparatus recited in claim 31, wherein said consumable compact item is edible.

35. The apparatus recited in claim 34, wherein said edible consumable compact item is candy, mints, gum, medical lozenges, medicine, or a combination thereof.

36. The apparatus recited in claim 31, wherein said attachment element includes adhesive material.

37. A method for displaying a message comprising the steps of: a. providing a base that retains at least one consumable item, said at least one consumable item having a message displayed onto; b. requiring said base to be attached to a package containing a tobacco product.

38. The apparatus recited in claim 27, wherein said attachment element includes adhesive material.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. application Ser. No. 10/365,864 filed Feb. 13, 2003, which is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/078,822, filed Feb. 19, 2002, the disclosures of which are hereby incorporated by reference in their entirety. This application also claims priority to U.S. provisional application Ser. No. 60/345,376.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The field of the invention is cigarette lighter holding devices, and the invention relates more particularly to a cigarette lighter holding device attachable to a cigarette box.

Smoking is a regular habit found amongst many people in society. Despite various behavior patterns among smokers, two are extremely common. The first is a reoccurring search for a cigarette light, while the second is a tendency to place the cigarette box on a table after having taken a cigarette out for smoking. Cigarettes typically come in what is known as a hard or soft pack paper box which contains 20 cigarettes inside. Cigarette lighters, on the other hand, are usually fuel (e.g. butane) based incineration mechanisms or an assortment of matches such as those that come in a paper matchbook or matchbox. Although many smokers carry their own cigarette lighter or matchbook with them, both are separate items, totally detached from the cigarette box. Moreover, the common cigarette box does not offer any way of securing or keeping these items close to the box. As a result, cigarette lighters and matchbooks are often misplaced or lost due to their compact size and ability to fit almost anywhere. Misplaced or lost cigarette lighters are often troublesome since some are expensive and even one of a kind. Additionally, not having a lighting mechanism secured to the cigarette box often prevents a smoker from enjoying a cigarette when one is most desired.

The smokers' habit of placing their cigarette box on the table is also noteworthy in itself. In almost every circumstance in which this behavior occurs, people around the smoker take notice of the box and may even become fixated on it. This is especially true in places where people get together, including food gatherings such as breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The result is a lost potential for advertising which goes beyond what is directly printed on the cigarette box.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to provide a holding device for cigarette lighters and other small objects which includes a medium containing a message and which is attachable to a cigarette box.

It is yet a further object of the present invention to provide a medium, independent of the holding device and attachable to the cigarette box for presenting a message.

The present invention is for a holding device for a cigarette lighter and other small objects which can be attached to a cigarette box or the like, and which displays a message such as an advertisement, slogan, logo, trademark, trade name, warning message, personal message, or the like (hereinafter “message”). The cigarette lighter holding device is preferably attached to a base material (hereinafter, “medium”) which contains the message. The message may be audible, mechanical, and/or visual. A visual message may consist of written, pictorial, holographic, three dimensional, or otherwise graphic form. Additionally, a visual message may comprise an electronic optical display such as pixilated, light (e.g. conventional, fiber optic, etc.), liquid crystal, etc. Such display may present the message in either an animated or motionless manner, and may further include a sound generating element. According to one embodiment, the medium includes an affixing element, such as an adhesive backing on a surface of the medium. In this respect, the medium can be affixed to a cigarette box for displaying a message. The holding device, on the other hand, would have a holding element which would be used to grip a cigarette lighter or other compact object in an abutting manner to the cigarette box. This would likely decrease the possibility of the lighter getting lost and keep it within the smoker's instant reach. Anyone within sight of the cigarette box would be exposed to the displayed message. Additionally, it is further contemplated that the medium be fashioned independent of the holding element and attachable to a cigarette box for the purpose of conveying the contained message.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a cigarette lighter holding device, in accordance with one embodiment of the invention, including a medium which displays a message, “XYZ Co.”.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a holding device similar to the device of FIG. 1, configured in a “closed book” formation and displaying a different message then the holding device of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the back side of the holding device of FIG. 2, illustrating the device with an adhesive layer covered by a peel away backing.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the holding device of FIG. 1, together with a cigarette box, with the holding device positioned on the box in accordance with one embodiment, whereby it is capable of grasping a cigarette lighter and most compact objects in an abutting manner to the box while displaying the message.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the holding device and cigarette box of FIG. 4, wherein the cigarette lighter holding device is utilized to grip a butane lighter in an abutting manner to the cigarette box while displaying the message.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a holding device including a medium which displays a message, in accordance with another embodiment of this invention.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the holding device of FIG. 6, wherein the displayed message is configured in a three dimensional composition.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a holding device, in accordance with yet another embodiment, wherein the medium is configured in a miniature three dimensional model of a beer mug displaying the message “JKL Beer”.

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a holding device, in accordance with yet another embodiment of this invention, wherein the medium is configured in a three dimensional character formation displaying the message “XYZ”.

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of a holding device, in accordance with yet another embodiment of this invention, wherein the device is configured in the form of a retaining pouch and displaying the message “XYZ Co.”.

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a holding device, in accordance with yet another embodiment of this invention, wherein the medium comprises an electronic optical display utilizing conventional light element(s).

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a holding device, in accordance with yet another embodiment of this invention, wherein the medium comprises an electronic optical display utilizing a liquid crystal display.

FIG. 13 is a perspective view of a holding device, in accordance with yet another embodiment of this invention, wherein the medium comprises an electronic sound generating element.

FIG. 14 is a perspective view of a holding device, in accordance with yet another embodiment of this invention, wherein the medium comprises an electronic display combined with a sound generating element.

FIG. 15 is a perspective view of a medium, independent of the holding device, in accordance with yet another embodiment of this invention, wherein the medium is configured as a miniature slot machine including an electronic motion generating element.

FIG. 16 is a perspective view of the holding device of FIG. 11 attached to a cigarette box, wherein separated contact portions of an activation switch activate the circuit, thereby presenting the message “XYZ CASINO” in a luminous manner.

FIG. 17 is a perspective view of the holding device of FIG. 11 attached to a cigarette box, wherein touching contact portions of an activation switch de-activate the circuit.

FIG. 18 is a perspective view of an advertisement medium which retains a consumable item(s).

FIG. 19 is a perspective view of the advertisement medium of FIG. 18 attached to a cigarette box.

FIG. 20 is a perspective view of an advertisement medium which is fashioned with left and right side flaps that retain the consumable item(s).

FIG. 21 is a perspective view of the advertisement medium of FIG. 20 attached to a cigarette box.

FIG. 22 is a perspective view of one embodiment of a “stand alone” packaged consumable item(s).

FIG. 23 is a perspective view of the “stand alone” packaged consumable item(s) of FIG. 22 and a “stand alone” advertisement medium attached to a cigarette box.

FIG. 24 is a perspective view of an advertisement medium that contains an advertisement/message and a consumable item(s) permanently formed as non-detachable unison entity.

FIG. 25 is a perspective view of a “stand alone” base medium” that is combined with a “stand alone” advertisement medium to form a combined base material with an advertisement medium.

FIG. 26 is a perspective view of a packaged consumable item(s) situated on an advertisement medium.

FIG. 27 is a perspective view of a packaged consumable item(s) having an advertisement integrated with the consumable item(s) packaging.

FIG. 28 is a perspective view of an advertisement medium attached to the packaging of a packaged consumable item(s).

FIG. 29 is a perspective view of an advertisement/message that is directly presented on the consumable item(s) itself.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The present invention is for a cigarette lighter holding device which can hold a cigarette lighter or other small object(s) together with a cigarette box or the like, while displaying a message. While certain types of cigarette lighter holding devices are illustrated in the drawings, it is to be understood that the present invention applies to any type of device utilized to hold a cigarette lighter together with a cigarette box, which is adapted to display a message. Additionally, this invention equally applies to any medium that is fashioned independent of a holding element and which is attachable to a cigarette box for the purpose of conveying the contained message.

FIG. 1 illustrates a cigarette lighter holding device 100 according to one embodiment of this invention. The holding device 100 includes a medium 1 for displaying a message and a flexible band 10 for gripping a cigarette lighter and other compact objects. The message displayed may be an advertisement, slogan, logo, trademark, trade name, warning message, personal message, or the like, and may be in written, pictorial, holographic, or other graphic form. For example, the message may be a written phrase such as “DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE”. The message may also be electronic, thereby being delivered via audible, motorized, and/or visual electronic means. This includes use of sound producing element(s), motion producing element(s), as well as light producing element(s) such as pixilated, light (e.g. conventional, fiber optic, etc.), liquid crystal, etc. Light producing elements may present the message in either an animated or motionless manner, and may further include a sound generating element.

The medium 1 may preferably include an adhesive backing, as shown in FIG. 3, such that it can be affixed to a cigarette box. Additionally, the holding device may be configured in a closed book formation, as shown in FIG. 2, wherein the left and right side portions, 2 and 3, (shown in FIG. 1) are folded over to create a closed book for retaining the band 10. This allows for convenient distribution, wherein the band is prevented from becoming entangled with other objects and the medium remains protected.

Referring now to FIG. 1, the medium 1 of holding device 100 is shown to have a left and right side portion, 2 and 3, respectively, which are attached together to form one congruent article. Left side portion 2 has a front surface 4, while right side portion 3 has a front surface 5. Additionally, both left side 2 and right side 3 portions each have a back surface, 6 and 7 respectively. Although FIG. 1 shows medium 1 with two sectioned front and back surfaces, it is of course, understood that the medium 1 may have a single, un-sectioned front and back surface instead, as shown in FIGS. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15. Furthermore, the medium 1 can also have more then two sectioned front and back surfaces, depending on the manner in which the medium 1 is designed.

Returning now to FIG. 1, it is preferred that the left side portion 2 be easily detachable from the right side portion 3. Allowing for the two portions to be separated may be advantageous for mounting the medium on the cigarette box given the amount of surface space available on the box. The preferred method of sectioning the medium 1, as shown in FIG. 1, is by perforating the medium 1 along a vertical plane 9 that will allow left side portion 2 to be easily torn apart from right side portion 3. It is noteworthy to mention that the perforation can also be positioned along a horizontal plane when such would be the preferred design scheme. In that respect, the upper side portion (not depicted by a character reference) of the medium 1 would be torn apart from the lower side portion (not depicted by a character reference) of the medium 1. Another method (not shown) of detaching right side portion 2 from left side portion 3 involves breaking an adhesive bond that may be holding both portions together. Here, an attaching element would be present which detachably connects right side portion 2 to left side portion 3. Although many different attachment methods can be used, some of the more common include supplemental material such as tape or an adhesive compound.

Although the medium 1 is shown in FIGS. 1,4,5,6, and 7 as rectangularly flat in shape, it of course, need not be as such, and may undertake any geometric shape including, circular, triangular, trapezoid, elliptical, etc. Examples of alternate shapes are shown in FIG. 8 holding device 300, FIG. 9 holding device 400, FIG. 10 holding device 500, FIG. 11 holding device 600, and FIG. 15 where the medium 1 is fashioned into a miniature three dimensional model of a beer mug, a three dimensional character formation, a retaining pouch, an opaque case, and a slot machine. It is noteworthy to mention that with certain designs, as shown in FIG. 10, the medium 1 and cigarette lighter holding device can even be the same composition. There, the pouch serves as both the medium and device for holding a cigarette lighter abuttingly to a cigarette box.

The medium 1 can also be made in accordance with any size deemed suitable. For example, although the medium 1 is shown in FIG. 1, holding device 100, as elongated and sectioned, it of course, may be compact and non-sectioned as shown in FIG. 6 holding device 200, FIG. 8 holding device 300, FIG. 9 holding device 400, FIG. 10 holding device 500, FIG. 11 holding device 600, FIG. 12 holding device 700, FIG. 13 holding device 800, FIG. 14 holding device 900, and FIG. 15. In this respect, the medium 1 may be sized to fit on one of the four walls of a cigarette box, all four walls of the cigarette box, or a select portion thereof. Additionally, the medium 1 may be made out of any type of material, including paper, plastic, wood, glass, polymer, fiber, gel, fiberglass, metal, rubber, elastic, etc. Contrasting material examples are shown in FIG. 1 where the medium 1 is made out of paper, while FIGS. 8, 9, and 11 show a medium 1 that is made out of material such as plastic. One of the advantages of making the medium 1 from paper is the fact that such material is highly adaptable and cost efficient to work with. An example to this would be a strip of paper such as a paper tag or label.

Although the medium 1 is shown in FIGS. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 as having a flat front 4,5 and back 6,7 surface, it need not have such and may instead, have a two or three dimensional surface plane on any of its respective front and/or back surface(s). A two dimensional surface may comprise a holographic image (not shown), while a three dimensional surface may comprise a protruding formation such as show in FIG. 7. There, the message 12 is fashioned in a three dimensional composition so that the lettering “XYZ Co.” is protruding outward from the medium 1. Although such is not the case in FIG. 7, it is of course, understood that the entire medium 1 may additionally be fashioned in a two or three dimensional manner. For example, the medium 1 may be a miniature three dimensional model such as a beer mug, shown in FIG. 8, or a three dimensional character formation, as shown in FIG. 9. Additionally, the medium may be fashioned in the form of a retaining pouch, as shown in FIG. 10. It is noteworthy that in all of these configurations, the medium 1 has a front surface 5 and back surface 7. Thus, a two or three dimensional medium surface may be utilized over a flat one for various reasons including, but not limited to, advertisement purposes (as it may be more eye-catching), gripping purposes, and/or preferred aesthetic appearances.

It is noteworthy to mention that the holding device need not utilize a band 10 for retaining a cigarette lighter or other small object. Any type of element that is capable of gripping and/or holding a cigarette lighter and/or other type of compact article(s) may be utilized. For example, this can be a retaining pouch, as shown in FIG. 10, as well as a clamp, snap-into receptacle, or male/female Velcro strips. It is therefore understood that this invention applies to any type of element utilized to hold a cigarette lighter or other compact object together with a cigarette box, which is adapted to display a message. Examples of other suitable holding devices which may be adapted to display a message in accordance with the present invention may be found in U.S. Pat. No. 5,088,684 to Torras et al., U.S. Pat. No. 5,788,479 to Galanos et al., U.S. Pat. No. 5,918,734 to Devens et al., U.S. Pat. No. 6,223,891 B1 to Devens et al., and U.S. Pat. No. D443,387 S to Torres et al.

Preferably, the holding element comprises a band 10, as shown in FIG. 1, that is made out of elastic, rubber, or other flexible material. This is because the advantages of a flexible elastic or rubber band are numerous. First, an elastic band provides a strong holding mechanism that would keep a cigarette lighter and/or other small object secured to the cigarette box 16, despite movement factors such as removal and insertion of the cigarette box 16 to and from a pocket. This is indicated in FIG. 5 where the butane lighter is tightly held abuttingly to the cigarette box. Next, an elastic band is compact which allows it to easily be enclosed in and attached to the medium 1, for example, as with the closed book formation shown in FIG. 2. Third, an elastic band is very versatile in use as it can hold most compact objects (e.g. money, paper slips, keys, pens, make-up items, candy, etc.,) regardless of their shape, instead of, or simultaneous to, holding the cigarette lighter 17. Finally, an elastic band is simple and inexpensive to manufacture.

It is further preferred that the band 10 shown, for example, in FIGS. 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, and 17 be attached to the medium 1. Attachment of the band 10 to the medium 1 can be accomplished by use of an adhesive compound, such as glue or tape, as per reference character 11, grip clips/clamp (not shown), or other known methods that would hold the two components together. Furthermore, attachment can be permanent or non-permanent wherein the band 10 may be detached and reattached to the medium 1 (e.g. as is the case with use of Velcro). It is noteworthy to mention that attachment of the band 10 to the medium 1 may be at any location point or points on the medium 1, the band 10, or a combination thereof. Preferably, the point or points for attachment would be in a location that does not block or interfere with any message that may be located on or within the medium 1. As shown in FIG. 1, the attachment location may be at a point right above the message (“XYZ Co.”) 12. Additionally, attachment can be at one or more points located below, to the left, or the right of the message. In light of this, therefore, it is of course, understood that many variations will be apparent to one skilled in the art.

As previously mentioned, the holding device serves both as a holder for keeping a cigarette lighter or other compact object together with a cigarette box, as well as a platform for displaying a message. This is extremely significant for a number of reasons. First, each time that the smoker reaches for their lighter or other object gripped by the holding element, they will undoubtedly be exposed to the message and likely take notice of it. This could result in the smoker being exposed to the message on numerous occasions, thereby increasing the prospects of it getting across. Second, it is well known that many smokers habitually place their cigarette box on a table or counter top after having taken out a cigarette for smoking. This conduct is extremely noteworthy given that the cigarette box is usually placed in a location where it is openly visible to any person sitting or standing next to it. In other words, just by virtue of placing the medium 1 onto the cigarette box 16, the smoker and those around them become potential targets for the message presented on or within the medium 1. In restaurants, for example, the cigarette box may be left on the dining table for hours throughout the course of a meal. During this time, it is very likely that many of those around the table would spend a good portion of that time glancing and staring at the box, thereby noticing the message displayed on the attached medium 1. It is noteworthy to mention that given the utility of the holding device, smokers would likely be motivated to place the medium 1 on their cigarette boxes. It therefore ensues that once attached to a cigarette box, the holding device could make the cigarette box a useful article as well as a powerful platform for delivering a message to a substantial amount of people.

In lieu of the advantages offered by the holding device, however, it is further contemplated that a medium 1, absent a holding element, may also be attached to the cigarette box. This would allow for the message contained by the medium 1 to still be communicated at times where the utility of a holding element is not desired. As shown in FIG. 15, a medium 1 is displayed absent a holding element. The medium 1 is attachable to a cigarette box (preferably by way of an adhesive backing on back side 7) and is solely provided in order to convey a message. In this case, that message may be that the slots at “XYZ CASINO” 22 result in high winnings. It is noteworthy that although FIGS. 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, and 14 display holding devices comprising of a holding element (such as band 10) and an attached medium 1, the holding element 10 need not be provided. Elimination of the holding element (band 10) would do away with any utility for gripping an object in an abutting manner to the cigarette box. The result would be a medium 1 fashioned/fabricated only for the purpose of conveying a message to an audience. For example, in accordance with FIGS. 7, 8, and 9, the message may be a company or product name such as “XYZ CO.” 12, “JKL BEER” 12, or “XYZ” 12, respectively, presented in a three dimensional formation. With regards to FIGS. 11 and 12, the message may similarly, be a company name such as “XYZ CASINO” 22 presented in an electronically optical manner. In FIG. 13, the message is shown as an audible slogan such as “Marlboro” 25, while a mechanical display such as a slot machine is shown in FIG. 15, as previously mentioned. As will later be discussed, band 10 may be used as a means of attaching the medium 1 to the cigarette box despite its additional utility as a holding element. As such, it is further contemplated that the mediums shown in FIGS. 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, and 14 may have an attached band 10, yet still be fashioned for the purpose of conveying a message, irrespective of a holding utility. Therefore, a distinctly notable aspect of this invention is a “stand alone”/independent utility for delivering a message(s) to an audience whereby the message(s) is contained within a medium that is attachable to a cigarette box.

Shown in FIG. 1, front surface 5 contains a message depicting “XYZ Co.” 12. Although the message 12 is only shown on front surface 5, it of course, can be placed on front surface 4 as well. The same or a different message may also be placed on back surface(s) 6 and/or 7. This is shown in FIG. 2, where a different message depicts the imprint “Cig Tag” 13, which, in this case, may be a possible company or product logo for the medium 1. Given the diversity in advertising, the message(s) placed on the medium 1 may be a pictorial, holographic, text, and/or other type of graphic image, or a combination thereof. Furthermore, the message(s) may also be a fashioned composition, such as a two or three dimensional form that is comprised of various materials, such as, but not limited to plastic, metal, fiberglass, polymer, fiber, rubber, elastic, gel, paper, wood, glass, etc. For example, FIGS. 6 and 7 both display the message “XYZ Co.” 12. The difference between the two, however, is that the message 12 in FIG. 6 is printed while that shown in FIG. 7 is a three dimensional composition comprised out of construction material such as plastic. Thus, the message(s) on the medium 1 may be comprised of graphic, stationary, and/or any other type of construction material, as mentioned above.

It is noteworthy that the message(s) may also be electronically generated by way of visual means, audible means, motorized means, or a combination of the three. In other words, the medium 1 may electronically present the message via use of a luminous display, an audible mechanism, and/or a motorized mechanism. Presenting the message in this manner is extremely advantageous since doing so would highly increase the chances of it being noticed by the smoker and/or those nearby, thus, increasing awareness of the message. A microprocessor integrated into either the optical, audible, and/or motorized message(s) circuitry may provide means for delivering the message in a pre-determined, controlled, and/or desired manner. Additionally, a memory module(s), if likewise integrated with these circuit(s) is preferably non-volatile and contains pre-programmed data relating to the message and/or its method of presentation. A power source such as a wafer battery may provide power to the circuit.

Visual electronic means may include an optical electronic display comprised of a pixilated element(s), conventional light element(s) (e.g. bulb, fiber optic, etc.), liquid crystal, or other type of electronic optical display. Such display may present the message in either an animated or motionless manner, and may further include additional electronic components needed to present the desired visual message. Such components may include, but are not limited to an activation switch, a power source, a microprocessor, and memory module(s).

As shown in FIG. 11, holding device 600, the medium 1 is configured as a case having a front surface 5 and a back surface 7. The medium 1 includes electronic components such as a light bulb 18; a microprocessor 19, a memory module 20, and a wafer battery 21 for powering the circuit. Use of a microprocessor 19 and/or a memory module(s) would allow for the message to be controlled with respect to presentation and content. For example, the microprocessor 19 may be used to control the operation of the circuit. In one embodiment, the microprocessor 19 may be programmed to present the message in a flashing or colored (single or multi) manner. Additionally, programming stored in the memory module(s) 20 may allow for varying message content to be displayed (such as with use of an LDC) during presentation. Despite this, however, it is of-course understood that medium 1 need only have the minimum electronic components, as is best known to those skilled in the art, which would be needed to present the message in an electronically optical manner.

Returning to FIG. 11, upon activation of the circuit, medium 1 will display the message “XYZ CASINO” 22 in a luminous manner 23 until deactivation. While the electronically optical message may be presented through a number of different structural arrangements, the message 22 shown in FIG. 11 utilizes an opaque medium 1 having text cut from and/or transparently overlaid on its front surface 5. This will allow the light 23 produced by the light generating element to escape the medium 1 and deliver the message 22 in a luminous manner. Furthermore, the medium 1 may be fashioned into a three dimensional formation that includes electronic circuitry as mentioned above. In this respect the optical message is not limited to a luminous text display and may likewise be delivered by presenting a luminous three dimensional graphic formation (e.g. figure, product, animal, etc.). As a further example of how an electronic luminous display may be arranged, FIG. 12, holding device 700, shows a medium comprised of a liquid crystal display (LCD) 37. The medium 1 is configured as a case having a front surface 5 and back surface 7 with the message display surface of LCD 37 positioned towards the front surface 5 of medium 1. While wafer battery 21 may provide power to the circuit, electronic components such as microprocessor 19, and memory module(s) 20 may likewise be integrated in order to deliver and/or enhance the intended message. Although LCD 37 of FIG. 12 displays the message “XYZ CASINO” in a type set manner, other ways of presenting the message on the LCD 37 are likewise contemplated. These include the use of animations (movable or motionless), presentation effects (e.g. scrolling data content, blinking data content, color, etc.), etc. Besides messages, the LCD 37 may further display any type of informative data including the time (12:00 AM) 38, date (not shown), user's name, etc. It is noteworthy that despite the structural arrangement shown in FIGS. 11 and 12, other types of arrangements for presenting an electronically optical message likewise exist. These includes use of LEDs positioned in a particular pattern to form a recognizable message (not shown) or any other type of optical electronic display arrangements best known to those skilled in the art.

Similar to an electronically delivered optical message, a sound generating element may be used to generate an electronic audible message. The audible message may include a pre-recorded verbal message, chime, melody, or any other type of audible composition. Components for presenting an audible message may include, but are not limited to an activation switch, a power source, a sound generating element, a microprocessor, and memory module(s). As shown in FIG. 13, holding device 800, the medium is configured as a case having a front surface 5 and a back surface 7. The medium 1 includes electronic components such as a speaker 24, a microprocessor 19, a memory module 20, and a wafer battery 21 for powering the circuit. Use of a microprocessor 19 and/or a memory module(s) would allow for the audible message to be controlled with respect to presentation and content. For example, the microprocessor 19 may control the message by presenting it in a repetitive or multi-vocal manner. Additionally, programming stored in the memory module(s) 20 may allow for a more informative message to be presented then would otherwise be the case. Inclusion of a recorder element, such as a microphone (not shown), coupled with the microprocessor 19 and/or memory module(s) 20 would further allow a user to continually record messages (e.g. memos) and save them for future playback. Such a feature would be useful in reminding a user of important information. Despite this, however, it is of-course understood that medium 1 need only have the minimum electronic components, as is best known to those skilled in the art, which would be needed to present the message in an electronically audible manner. Referring again to FIG. 13, the medium 1, upon activation of the electronic circuit, will deliver the pre-recorded message “Marlboro”® 25.

In FIG. 14, a medium 1 is further shown as capable of presenting an electronically generated message containing both optical and audible elements. There, medium 1, which is configured as an opaque case has light bulb 18, speaker 24, microprocessor 19, memory module 20, and a wafer battery 21 for powering the circuit. When activated, medium 1 is able to present the message “XYZ CASINO” 22 in a luminous 23 and audible 26 manner. Microprocessor 19, coupled with memory module(s) 20 may be used to control the message with regards to optical/audio timing and content presentation.

Finally, the message may also be presented via way of a mechanical motion generating element. In one embodiment, an electronically motorized element such as a miniature D/C motor may be attached to movable components contained within the medium. As shown in FIG. 15, the medium 1 is fashioned as a slot machine having front surface 5 and back surface 7. The medium 1 includes electronic motor 27 which is powered by wafer battery 21 and has a shaft 28 leading to reels 29, 30, and 31. Additionally, a microprocessor 19 and/or memory module(s) 20 may be included to control the message and/or present it in a particular manner. Upon activation, motor 27, via shaft 28, rotates reels 29, 30, and 31 wherein the character “7” on each respective reel falls on or approaches (as is the case with reel 31) the center bar 32. A message presented in such a fashion may function to convey the notion that slot machines located at “XYZ CASINO” 22 result in frequent payoffs. Despite the slot machine formation, the medium 1 may of course, be fashioned in a wide range of different designs and structures, each of which presents a distinct and/or particular message via the use of a motion generating element(s). Other such contemplated structures and/or designs may include, but are not limited to movable figures that depict people, animals, recreational activities (e.g. sports), products (e.g. vehicles, tools, electronics, furniture), games, game machines, etc. It is also noteworthy that although the motion generating element shown in FIG. 15 is an electronic motor 27, it may alternatively be a non-electronic spring loaded, wind up, or similar type mechanical motion generating device. Additionally, components such as an electronic optical display and/or sound generating element may be included within the medium 1 to further enhance the message.

It is preferred that an electronically generated message regarding either the optical, audible, and/or motorized displays be activated via use of an activation switch. The activation switch may consist of a push button, lever (such as that 33 shown in FIG. 15), trigger mechanism (such as touching metal connectors), or any other activation device known to those skilled in the art. A trigger mechanism, for example, may be strategically situated, such as on the medium 1 or cigarette box 16, wherein it will activate the circuit resulting from an action initiated by a user (such as push of a button, opening of the cigarette box top cover, etc.). Once the switch is activated, the electronic message generating circuitry will present the message in an electronically visual, audible, motorized, or combined type form. As shown in FIG. 16, medium 1 (which is fashioned as an opaque rectangular case) is shown to display the message “XYZ CASINO” 22 in a luminous 23 setting when the top lid 34 of cigarette box 16 is opened. There, opening of lid 34 separates upper connector 35 from lower connector 36 to activate the circuit, thereby causing light bulb 18 to turn on. As shown in FIG. 17, closing of the cigarette box top lid 34, allows connectors 35 and 36 to come in contact with one another, thereby de-activating the circuit within medium 1.

It is preferred that the medium 1 be configured in a “closed book” enclosure formation since such would be advantageous in distribution, handling, and protection of the holding device and/or medium. As shown in FIG. 2, medium 1 may be folded along vertical perforation 9 to render it in the “closed book” formation. In this configuration, back surfaces 6 and 7, respectively, become the front and reverse outer handling surfaces of the medium 1, with edge 8 forming an outer side surface. The medium 1 can thereafter be detachably sealed along any of its edges so as to keep it in the “closed book” formation. Although the folded “closed book” enclosure is shown in FIG. 2 as rectangular in shape, it of course, need not be as such, and may come in any geometric shape including, circular, triangular, trapezoid, elliptical, etc. It is noteworthy to mention that in situations where the “closed book” formation is not desired, the medium 1 can come in an “open—no fold” formation, as is shown in FIGS. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15. It is of course understood, that in such a case, holding devices 200 as per FIG. 6, 300 as per FIG. 8, 400 as per FIG. 9, 500 as per FIG. 10, 600 as per FIG. 11, 700 as per FIG. 12, 800 as per FIG. 13, 900 as per FIG. 14, and the medium 1 as per FIG. 15 may be individually wrapped, such as with cellophane or other material, in order to protect the entire apparatus throughout the course of distribution.

Attachment of the medium 1 directly on the cigarette box 16 or the cellophane wrapping, which may be present around the box 16, can be accomplished in a number of ways. Placing an adhesive backing on the back surface(s) of the medium 1 is one conceivable method of doing this. As illustrated in FIG. 3 and referenced in FIGS. 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15 back surface 7 of medium 1 may have a peel away backing 14 which could be removed to reveal an adhesive surface 15 underneath. The adhesive layer 15 may be placed on the entire back surface 7 or a select portion of it.

Use of an adhesive backing is the preferred method of attaching the medium 1 to cigarette box 16 since such would securely affix the two together. Despite this, however, other methods known in the art, including attachment via clips or a strap such as band 10, are also contemplated. In this respect, an adhesive attachment, although preferred, may not even be needed. For example, the elastic band (vis-à-vis the band 10 of holding devices 100, 200, 300, 400, 600, 700, 800, and 900) can be used to attach the medium 1 to cigarette box 16 just by stretching the band 10 around the cigarette box 16. Attachment in this manner would likely be the case with holding devices such as those shown in FIGS. 8 and 9. In neither of these examples does an adhesive material need to be resident on the back of the respective medium 1 in order for it to be attached to the cigarette box 16. There, band 10 can act as both the mechanism used for attaching the medium 1 to the cigarette box 16 as well as that which is used to grip compact objects. Alternatively, band 10 may simply act as the mechanism for attaching a medium 1, independent of a holding element, to a cigarette box 16, as previously mentioned. Of course, if desired, the medium 1 of FIGS. 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, and 14, for example, may also contain an adhesive backing to allow for a stronger attachment to the cigarette box 16. This, however, is not required.

Alternatively, attachment of holding devices 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800 and 900 to cigarette box 16 can also be accomplished via the use of clips located on back surface 6 or 7 which could dig into cigarette box 16. Finally, attachment can also be removably affixed, such as where Velcro is used to allow for attachment and re-attachment.

After the medium 1 is attached to cigarette box 16, the seal keeping it in the “closed book” formation (if holding device is configured as such) may be broken (not shown), after which the band 10 can be stretched around box 16, as shown in FIG. 4. Once this is done, a cigarette lighter 17 or other compact object(s) may be held in an abutting manner to box 16, as shown in FIG. 5. It should be mentioned that although the holding device in this disclosure mainly focuses on an apparatus for securing a cigarette lighter 17 to a cigarette box 16, it is wholly contemplated that such a holding device can also be used to secure other compact objects to the cigarette box 16. Such objects may include, but are not limited to money, writing utensils, paper slips, keys, medical drugs, make-up articles and accessories, pouches, wallets, identification cards, debit cards, etc. As is obvious from FIG. 4, any of these objects can be gripped by the holding device(S) of this invention anywhere along the circumference of the cigarette box 16. Thus, once the holding device of this invention is attached to a cigarette box 16, it can provide the user with an apparatus capable of holding most compact objects in an abutting manner to the cigarette box 16. This will help the user keep their items close within reach while exposing them and others to the message(s) contained on the medium 1. Additionally, given the ability to convey messages through the medium attached to a cigarette box, this invention is likewise noted for its method of displaying messages by way of rendering medium 1 independent of a holding element.

In a further embodiment of the invention, a consumable item(s) may be fashioned with the advertisement medium 1 for providing the holder of the cigarette box (i.e. user) with incentive to retain the advertisement medium 1 on the cigarette package. In other words, the user's desire to retain the consumable item(s) (which may be attached and or integrated with advertisement medium 1) will deter them from removing the advertisement medium 1 from the cigarette box 16. As shown in FIG. 18, an advertisement medium 1 with advertisement “XYZ Casino $$$$” 12 is integrated with base material 39 which retains the consumable item(s) 40 (such as mints). Integration of the advertisement medium 1 with the base material 39 for retaining the consumable item(s) 40 can be permanently (wherein the two are manufactured as one entity) or removable (wherein the two are separate entities that are combined together). Regardless of how it is formed, the end result is an advertisement medium which retains a consumable item(s) 40 as per reference character 41 in FIG. 18. It is further noteworthy that presenting a consumable item(s) in combination with a message/advertisement on a package containing a tobacco product (e.g. cigarette box) would also provide a way for promoting the consumable item(s) while at the same time, presenting an intended message. As previously mentioned, the pervasive manner in which a cigarette box is handled allows for repeated exposure of the box to a multitude of individuals. Thus, by placing a consumable item(s) onto a cigarette box in combination with a message, it is possible to deliver the noted message in a much more effective manner (for reasons mentioned above) as well as promote the attached consumable item(s). The “consumable item(s)” mentioned in this invention can be one or more edible as well as non-edible items. An edible consumable item(s) can be, but is not limited to items such as candy, mints, gum, lozenges (e.g. medical), medicine, food, etc. Conversely, a non-edible consumable item(s) can be, but is not limited to stationary, writing utensils/products, make-up, fragrance (i.e. cologne, perfume), etc.

As further shown in FIG. 19, the advertisement medium which retains a consumable item(s) 41 is placed onto the front side 42 of cigarette box 16. Similar to that previously mentioned, the advertisement medium which retains a consumable item(s) 41 may be permanently or removably affixed to cigarette box 16 via any method known to those skilled in the art. This includes, but is not limited to the use of adhesive material, Velcro, a rubber band and/or elastic material, strapping, etc. Because of the cigarette box 16 holder's desire to retain the consumable item(s), they would naturally be less inclined to detach the advertisement medium 1 which retains the consumable item(s) 41 from the cigarette box 16. As a result, both the holder/user of the cigarette box 16 and others that come in viewing proximity of the cigarette box 16 would be exposed to the advertisement 12 on the medium 1 for a longer period of time then might normally have been the case.

Although the advertisement medium which retains a consumable item(s) 41 is shown in FIG. 18 as rectangular in shape, it of course, can undertake any geometric shape, size, form, and/or configuration. For example, as shown in FIG. 20, the advertisement medium which retains a consumable item(s) 41 may be fashioned in a manner where the consumable item(s) 40 are positioned on left 43 and right 44 side flaps that extend beyond the width of the front of a cigarette box. Configuration in this manner would allow the left and right side flaps to wrap around the sides of the cigarette box. This is illustrated in FIG. 21 where the advertisement medium which retains a consumable item(s) 41 is affixed to cigarette box 16. There, the portion of the medium 41 containing the advertisement “XYZ Casino $$$$” 12 is positioned on the front side 42 of cigarette box 16, while the left 43 and right 44 side flaps (which retain the consumable item(s) 40) are positioned on the left 45 (hidden view) and right 46 sides of cigarette box 16. In accordance with this same configuration, the medium 41 may be configured with only one of the side flaps 43 or 44 instead of both.

It is noteworthy that the consumable item(s) may be completely unattached from medium 1, however, it is preferred that it be affixed, attached, connected to, or otherwise, made part of medium 1. This is because combining the consumable item(s) with the medium 1 as one component will diminish the chances of the user removing the advertisement (which may be situated on the medium 1) from the cigarette box (due to their desire to retain the consumable item(s)). Despite this, a “stand alone” consumable item such as a gum package 47 is shown in FIG. 22. Here, a packaged consumable item(s) (e.g. gum package) 47, which is not attached to an advertisement medium 1, can be attached to a cigarette box 16 in its “stand alone” configuration as shown in FIG. 23. Naturally, a “stand alone” advertisement medium 1 may also be attached to the cigarette box 16. The result, as shown in FIG. 23, is a cigarette box 16 to which a “stand alone” consumable item(s) (e.g. gum package 47) and “stand alone” advertisement medium 1 are attached thereto.

It should be appreciated that the base 39 retaining the consumable item(s) 40 and advertisement medium 1 and/or advertisement message 12 can be manufactured as a uniform entity that is inseparable from its individual components (the individual components being the base 39 retaining the consumable item(s) 40 on the one hand, and the advertisement medium 1 and/or advertisement message 12 on the other). In this sense, the advertisement message 12 can be placed directly on the base that retains the consumable item. For example, the advertisement medium 1 can act as both the element that contains the advertisement message as well as the element that retains the consumable item(s) (e.g. base material). This can be seen in FIG. 24 where the advertisement medium 1 and base 39 retaining the consumable item(s) 40 are formed as one entity 48. There, the message “XYZ Casino $$$$” is printed directly onto base material 39. By fashioning the advertisement medium 1 and/or advertising message 12 and base 39 retaining the consumable item(s) 40 as one inseparable entity, the likelihood of the advertisement medium 1 being separated from the base 39 retaining the consumable item(s) 40 is greatly diminished. This would be advantageous as it would prolong the duration in which individuals would be exposed to the advertisement or message placed on the advertisement medium.

Alternatively, the advertisement medium 1 can be manufactured as a separate “stand alone” item that would then be attachable to a “stand alone” base material that retains the consumable item(s). As shown in FIG. 25, a “stand alone” base material 39 that retains a consumable item(s) 40 (e.g. mints) is combined with a “stand alone” advertisement medium 1 to form a united base material with an advertisement medium 49. The advantages to combining a “stand alone” base material 39 with a “stand alone” advertisement medium 1 are numerous. For instance, such an arrangement would allow for the same base material to be utilized with different advertisement mediums. This offers various advantages including those pertaining to the cost of the base material as well as selection of which base material and/or consumable item(s) is used with which advertisement medium. It is appreciated that there are various ways of combining the base material 39 that retains the consumable item(s) 40 with the advertisement medium 1. For example, various materials can be used which include, but are not limited to adhesives, Velcro, a rubber band, strapping, etc. Despite these methods, other preferred method(s) of combining and/or integrating the base material 39 that retains the consumable item(s) 40 with the advertisement medium 1 may best be known to those skilled in the art.

In accordance with the scheme of this invention, numerous other ways of presenting an advertisement with a consumable item(s) are contemplated. For example, as illustrated in FIG. 26, the packaged consumable item(s) 47 can be situated on the advertisement medium 1. There, consumable item 47 can be a “stand alone” element that is combined with a “stand alone” advertisement medium 1. Alternatively, both the consumable item(s) 47 and advertisement medium 1 can be integrated into a uniform item that is inseparable from its individual components.

It is further contemplated that the advertisement message 12 can be integrated with the packaging of consumable item(s) 47. This is shown in FIG. 27 where the advertisement “Wrigley's Gum®” 12 is presented directly on the packaging 50 of consumable item(s) 47. It is noteworthy that the advertisement/message 12 can be presented either directly on the package 50 or wrapping material (i.e. such as cellophane) of the package 50 containing the consumable item(s) 47. In similar respects, a medium 1 onto which an advertisement/message 12 is placed can also act as the consumable item(s) packaging 50. This was previously illustrated in FIG. 24 where the advertisement medium 1 presents the advertisement message 12 as well as retains the consumable item(s) 40.

As a further method of configuration, an advertisement medium 1 may be attached to the packaging 50 of packaged consumable item(s) 47, as shown in FIG. 28. Conversely, in FIG. 29, an advertisement medium which retains a consumable item(s) 41 is shown wherein advertisement/message 12 is directly presented on the consumable item(s) 40 itself. There, each of the mints that are retained by the medium 1 present the advertisement “Certs”®. Of course, an additional advertisement/message may 12 may likewise be presented on the medium 1 in order to present multiple messages with the consumable item(s).

It is further noteworthy that the consumable item(s) can be encased and/or packaged in a wrapping material (such as a bust-open plastic, aluminum foil, paper, or other suitable packaging material), or alternatively, can be attached to the advertisement medium 1 and/or base material 39 without such wrapping/packaging. In the case where packaging material is used, the packaging material that holds the consumable item(s) may be attached to either the advertisement medium and/or the cigarette box 16. It should further be mentioned that the base material 39 can serve as both the element for retaining and packaging the consumable item(s).

Notwithstanding the examples illustrated in FIGS. 18-25, it must be noted that a consumable item(s) can be integrated and/or combined with any type of advertisement regardless of the form or configuration of the advertisement/message. Thus, a consumable item(s) can be integrated with advertisements such as, but not limited to those that are one dimensional (e.g. textual), 3 dimensionally protruding, holographic (2 and/or 3 dimensional), mechanical, electronic (visual and/or audible), etc. The advertisement/message could further undertake the form of graphics (e.g. pictorial), textual, or other form. Additionally, the content of the advertisement/message that is integrated and/or combined with the consumable item(s) can include any kind of information that can be conveyed. For example, the advertisement/message may be an informative message such as, but not limited to a slogan, logo, trademark, trade name, product names, warning message, personal message, and/or the like. Furthermore, the consumable item(s) can be integrated and/or combined with multiple ads/messages, each of which can be related or totally unrelated to one another. The ability to utilize multiple ads/messages will allow for increased advertising potential with regards to both message awareness and financial considerations. It is further noteworthy that the advertisement/message that is integrated and/or combined with the consumable item(s) may be placed in any location outside of the cigarette box 16 and/or package containing a tobacco product. This includes, but is not limited to the various placements as shown in FIGS. 18-29, such as, for example, on the medium 1, on the consumable item(s) packaging and/or wrapping material, on the consumable item(s) itself, etc., as well as any combination of such placement locations where multiple advertisements/messages are presented.

While the present invention has been described with regards to particular embodiments, it is recognized that additional variations of the present invention may be devised without departing from the inventive concept. The present embodiments of this invention are thus to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive; the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description. All changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are intended to be embraced therein.