Title:
SCENTED PICTURE FRAME
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention relates generally to a scented picture frame that is comprised of a frame perimeter that defines an opening through which a picture can be viewed. The scented picture frame also includes a recess formed into the frame perimeter that is arranged to receive a scent; and a cover that closes off the recess, that holds the scent in the recess, and that permits the scent to migrate out of the recess through the Fame perimeter.



Inventors:
Ozmun, Scott (US)
Application Number:
11/683231
Publication Date:
09/11/2008
Filing Date:
03/07/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G1/06
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KIM, SHIN H
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SCHIFF HARDIN, LLP - Chicago (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Claims:
1. A scented picture frame comprising: a frame perimeter defining an opening through which a picture can be viewed; a recess formed as a hollow cavity into the frame perimeter and arranged to receive a scented element; and a cover that closes off the recess, that holds the scented element in the recess, and that permits fragrance to migrate out of the recess through the frame perimeter.

2. (canceled)

3. The scented picture frame of claim 1, wherein the cover hinges off of the recess.

4. The scented picture frame of claim 1, wherein the cover comprises a cover having openings to release fragrance from the scented element.

5. The scented picture frame of claim 1, wherein the cover comprises a permeable cover to release fragrance from the scented element.

6. A picture frame apparatus, comprised of the following: a frame perimeter defining an opening through which a picture can be viewed; a recess formed as a hollow cavity into the frame perimeter; a fragrance receptacle shaped to fit into the recess; a fragrance cartridge shaped to fit into the fragrance receptacle; and a cover that closes off the recess, that holds the fragrance cartridge in the recess, and that permits fragrance to exit the frame perimeter.

7. The picture frame apparatus of claim 6, wherein the cover hinges off the receptacle.

8. The picture frame apparatus of claim 6, wherein the fragrance cartridge comprises a replaceable fragrance cartridge.

9. The picture frame apparatus of claim 8, wherein the fragrance cartridge contains a fragrance material.

10. The picture frame apparatus of claim 8, wherein the fragrance cartridge contains a removable seal.

11. The picture frame apparatus of claim 6, wherein the fragrance receptacle is permanently affixed into the recess.

12. The picture frame apparatus of claim 6, wherein the cover comprises a cover having openings to release fragrance from the fragrance cartridge.

13. The picture frame apparatus of claim 6, wherein the cover comprises a permeable cover to release fragrance from the fragrance cartridge.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to a scented picture frame.

DESCRIPTION OF THE RELATED ART

Air fresheners contain aromatic or fragrant liquids or solids that permeate a given space with a pleasant fragrance. Although air fresheners provide a pleasant effect to a room, their dispensers are often unattractive. As a result, there is a need to provide an attractive apparatus for introducing an air freshener into a room.

One such apparatus includes a picture frame that can hold an air freshener for introduction into a room. The prior art discloses several different types of frames that provide this function. These frames include those that contain an external holder for an air freshener that is mounted on the backside of the frame. Other prior art frames include those that contain an adsorbent material for an air freshener directly within the material that constitutes the frame.

However, none of these frames in the prior art contain a holder for an air freshener that is integral with the frame, thus preventing it from detracting from the frame's beauty and the room's ambience without requiring the frame's material to include an adsorbent compound. The present invention provides this improvement over the prior art through a scented frame that contains a recess in the frame's perimeter that can hold an air freshener without limiting the material of the frame itself.

SUMMARY

According to one aspect of the present invention, a scented picture frame comprises a frame perimeter defining an opening through which a picture can be viewed, a recess formed into the frame perimeter and arranged to receive a scented element, and a cover that closes off the recess, that holds the scented element in the recess, and that permits fragrance to migrate out of the recess through the frame perimeter.

According to another aspect of the present invention, a picture frame apparatuscomprises a frame perimeter defining an opening through which a picture can be viewed, a recess formed into the frame perimeter, a fragrance receptacle shaped to fit into the recess, a fragrance cartridge shaped to fit into the fragrance receptacle, and a cover that closes off the recess, that holds the fragrance cartridge in the recess, and that permits fragrance to exit the frame perimeter.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a back view of a picture frame according to an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 illustrates an example of various layers that retain a picture within the viewing area of the picture frame;

FIG. 3 is a cross-section of a side of a picture frame containing a recess;

FIG. 4 is an exploded view of the picture frame of FIG. 1 and a scented element that is received in the recess of the picture frame;

FIGS. 5 and 6 illustrate a fragrance receptacle according to another embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 7 illustrates a fragrance cartridge useable with the fragrance receptacle of FIGS. 5 and 6; and

FIG. 8 is a back view of a picture frame according to another embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

In an embodiment of the present invention, a scented picture frame is provided that includes a frame perimeter that defines an opening through which a picture can be viewed, and a recess formed in the frame perimeter, such as at the top, side and/or bottom of the frame perimeter, into which fits a scented element. The frame also includes a cover that fits over the recess thereby holding the scented element in the recess and that permits fragrance from the scented element to exit the frame perimeter. The cover, for example, may be a permeable cover that permits fragrance to permeate through the cover and into the space in which the frame is being used. Alternatively, the cover may have slots, holes, or other openings that permit fragrance to exit from the frame and into the space in which the frame is being used.

As shown in FIG. 1, a picture frame 10 contains a perimeter 20 that defines an opening or viewing area 30 through which a picture can be viewed. In an embodiment, the perimeter 20 of the frame 10 is comprised of wood, and the perimeter 20 defines a 5″ by 7″ viewing area 30. However, in alternative embodiments, the frame 10 is comprised of other types of frame materials, including, but not limited to, plastic, aluminum, polystyrene, or MDF. Moreover, in alternative embodiments, the viewing area 30 may be comprised of many other sizes.

Referring to FIG. 2, in an embodiment of the present invention, the viewing area 30 is comprised of one or more layers that are used to support and protect a picture that is placed in the frame 10. In one embodiment, the first layer is comprised of a pane of glass 110. The next layer is comprised of a matboard 120 behind which a photograph can be placed and displayed through the pane of glass 110. In an embodiment, the matboard 120 is used to display a 4″ by 6″ photograph. However, in alternative embodiments, many other sizes of matting are used to display different sizes of pictures, depending on the structure and size of the frame 10. Moreover, the matboard 120 may be comprised of several different types of materials known in the art, including, but not limited to, linen, wood pulp, or cotton, and any color or texture available for framing. In another embodiment, the frame is comprised of one or more layers that do not include the matboard 120.

As shown in FIG. 2, in one embodiment, the next layer is comprised of an easel back 130 that fits into a slot 140 in the upper width of the frame 10. The frame 10 also includes two pivoting hardware pieces 160 that hold the easel back 130 in place after it is slid into the slot 140. In another embodiment, the frame 10 is comprised of one or more hardware pieces 160 that serve to fasten the easel back 130 to the back of the frame 10. The pivoting hardware pieces 160 may be comprised of any shape and any material that serves to fasten the easel back 130 to the back of the frame 10. Moreover, the hardware pieces 160 may be placed on any side of the frame. The easel back 130 may be comprised of any type of material that is compatible with framing. Accordingly, the matboard 120 is layered between the pane of glass 110 and the picture, and the picture is layered between the matboard 120 and the easel back 130.

Referring to FIG. 1, the perimeter 20 of Fame 10 is comprised of two corners 40 and 50 at the top, side, or bottom of the frame 10. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, a recess 200 is formed into the perimeter 20 and extends between the corners 40 and 50. In an embodiment, the recess 200 is a hollow cavity that is 4.25 inches long and 0.75 inches wide. However, in alternative embodiments, the recess may be smaller or larger, depending on the dimensions of the perimeter 20 of the frame and of the scented element to be held within the recess 200. Moreover, the recess 200 may be any shape that is conducive to forming a hollow cavity inside the perimeter 20 of the frame 10.

In an embodiment, the recess 200 holds a scented element 300, as shown in FIG. 4. The scented element 300 may be comprised of any air freshening element that can be used to eliminate odors or bring a pleasant fragrance to a room or space. Further, in one embodiment, a cover similar to a cover 310 discussed below and hinged to the perimeter 20 may be provided to retain the scented element 300 within the recess 200. The cover 310 may be permeable and/or provided with slots, holes, or other openings to permit scent to migrate from the scented element 200 and into the room or other space within which the picture frame 10 is used. As desired, the permeability and/or slots, holes, or other openings of the cover 310 may be adjustable to adjustably release the fragrance from the scented element 300.

In another embodiment, the scented element 300 may be provided with an integral scent releasing member or cover such that the scented element may be press fit into the recess 200 and held therein by friction and such that the fragrance of the scented element 300 is released through the integral scent releasing element or cover. For this purpose, the integral scent releasing member or cover may be permeable and/or provided with slots, holes, or other openings to release the fragrance. Also, as desired, the permeability and/or slots, holes, or other openings may be adjustable to adjustably release the fragrance from the scented element 300.

In another embodiment, the recess 200 contains a fragrance receptacle 400, as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6. In one embodiment, the fragrance receptacle 400 is a plastic piece that removably fits into the recess 200. In another embodiment, the fragrance receptacle 400 may be a cup that removably fits into the recess 200 and can be made of any material that is compatible with holding a scented element 300. In an alternative embodiment, the fragrance receptacle 400 is permanently affixed into the recess 200. Moreover, in an embodiment, the fragrance receptacle 400 contains a cover similar to cover 310 that is hinged to the perimeter of the fragrance receptacle 400. The cover 310 may be permeable and/or provided with slots, holes, or other openings to permit scent to migrate from the scented element 200 and into the room or other space within which the picture frame 10 is used. As desired, the permeability and/or slots, holes, or other openings of the cover 310 may be adjustable to adjustably release the fragrance from the fragrance receptacle 400.

As shown in FIG. 7, in one embodiment, the fragrance receptacle 400 holds a fragrance cartridge 500 that is shaped to fit inside the fragrance receptacle 400. In one embodiment, the fragrance cartridge 500 may contain any scent that is available to add a fragrance 510 to a room or space, and is replaceable. In an exemplary embodiment, the fragrance cartridge 500 contains a seal 520 which, when removed, activates the fragrance 510 inside the cartridge 500. In still another embodiment, the fragrance 510 is comprised of a solid gel material. However, in alternative embodiments, the fragrance may be comprised of other materials suitable for air fresheners, depending on the fragrance used. In one alternative embodiment, the fragrance is comprised of a paper material that is infused with a fragrance oil.

As shown in FIGS. 5, 6 and 7, a cover 310 is hinged to one side 340 of the fragrance receptacle 400 and includes a latching piece 320 that cooperates with a recess 330 located in a perimeter of the fragrance receptacle 400 to form an interference fit therewith so as to latch the cover 310 over the fragrance receptacle 400 and thereby retain the fragrance cartridge 500 with the fragrance receptacle 400. Other latching mechanisms can be used. As indicated above, the cover 310 may be permeable and/or provided with slots, holes, or other openings to permit scent to migrate from the fragrance cartridge 500 and into the room or other space within which the picture frame 10 is used. As desired, the permeability and/or slots, holes, or other openings of the cover 310 may be adjustable to adjustably release the fragrance from the fragrance cartridge 500.

As shown in FIG. 8, in another embodiment of the present invention, the back of a picture frame 10 is comprised of an easel back 130 that fits into a slot 140 in the upper width of the frame 10. The frame 10 also includes two pivoting hardware pieces 160 that hold the easel back 130 in place after it is slid into the slot 140. In another embodiment, the frame 10 is comprised of one or more hardware pieces that serve to fasten the easel back 130 to the back of the frame 10. The pivoting hardware pieces 160 may be comprised of any shape and any material that serves to fasten the easel back 130 to the back of the frame 10. Moreover, the hardware pieces 160 may be placed on any side of the frame. The easel back 130 may be comprised of any type of material that is compatible with framing.

Moreover, in one embodiment of the present invention, the perimeter 20 may be provided with multiple recesses instead of just one recess. In this case, each recess can hold a scented clement 300 or a fragrance receptacle 400 that contains the fragrance cartridge 500. The fragrance from the scented element or from the fragrance cartridge 500 can be controlled by a corresponding adjustable cover to emit the fragrance into a room or space.

The picture frame 10 is shown herein as a rectangular picture frame in which the perimeter 20 is formed as four members suitably attached together to form the viewing area 30. However, the picture frame 10 may have any other shape, such as an oval or a circle, in which case the perimeter 20 may be formed as a continuous member having no seam, a single member having a seam where its two ends are joined, or multiple members. Other shapes and constructions are possible.

The present invention has been described in specific detail and with particular reference to its preferred embodiments; however, it will be apparent to those having skill in the art that modifications and changes can be made thereto without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.