Title:
Butt Cutter - Cigarette Extinguisher
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A device for safely cutting the lit end of a cigarette, extinguishing the cut-off burning ashes, and storing the unused portion of the cigarette for further use is provided. The cigarette cutter-extinguisher device is characterized by an actuator assembly with an internal actuator element, a cutter-extinguisher assembly which is characterized by an internal cutting element which cuts the end of a burning cigarette when inserted into the device and provides a barrier inhibiting oxygen availability to smoldering ash deposited in a receptacle. The internal cutting element allows for the safe use of the cigarette cutter-extinguisher device. The device enables a user to partially smoke a cigarette, cut-off and extinguish ashes from a burning cigarette while restoring the cigarette to a fresh end and store the cigarette for potential further use or safe discarding.



Inventors:
Doroff, Robert Charles (Arbutus, MD, US)
Application Number:
11/988134
Publication Date:
07/02/2009
Filing Date:
07/03/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A24F13/24
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NGUYEN, PHU HOANG
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
William W. Reichert (Ellicott City, MD, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A cutter and extinguishing device for cigarettes or cigars comprising (a) a cutter assembly portion, which comprises a cutter blade and a first side wall that defines a vacant chamber of sufficient size to contain a cigarette, (b) an actuator assembly portion which comprises (i) a second side wall, (ii) a top side which is perpendicular to the second side wall, wherein the top side defines an opening, and (iii) an actuating means for engaging the cutter blade of said cutter assembly portion wherein the second side wall of said actuator assembly portion provides structure for the actuator means, wherein each of said actuator assembly portion and said cutter assembly portion lie generally longitudinally oriented, said actuator assembly portion and said cutter assembly portion correlating to form a generally longitudinally based structure wherein the chamber correlates with the opening, wherein the actuator means correlate with the cutter blade to move the cutter blade from an open position in which the cutter blade is positioned outward of the chamber to a closed position in which the cutter blade transverses the chamber to sever a cigarette inserted in the chamber, (c) and a receptacle portion which comprises a cylindrical cup with an open end and vacant interior, wherein said receptacle portion engages said cutter assembly portion such that the open end of the cylindrical cup correlates with the chamber of said cutter assembly portion and vertically is aligned with the opening of said actuator assembly portion so as to receive the lit end of a cigarette.

2. The device according to claim 1 wherein the actuator means is a cuboid structure integrally connected to the top side and the second side wall of said actuator assembly portion.

3. The device according to claim 2 wherein said actuator assembly portion further comprises a cap.

4. The device according to claim 3 wherein said actuator assembly portion, said cutter assembly portion, and said receptacle portion are constructed of rigid moldable plastic.

5. The device according to claim 4 wherein the cutter blade comprises an end, a first part, a second part, and an opposite edge integrally connected to a cutting edge.

6. The device according to claim 5 wherein the cutter blade is constructed of spring steel.

7. A cutter and extinguishing device for cigarettes or cigars comprising (a) an actuator assembly portion that comprises (i) a first front wall, (ii) a first opposite wall, (iii) a first side wall and (iv) a second side wall, (v) a top side that defines an opening, and (vi) an open bottom side, wherein the first front wall, the first opposite wall, the first side wall, the second side wall, and the top side are integrally connected to form a cuboid structure which contains a vacant space therein, and (vii) an actuator wherein the actuator is integrally connected to the top side and the second side wall, and (viii) a cap, (b) a cutter assembly portion that comprises (i) a cutter blade, (ii) a second front wall, (iii) a second opposite wall, (iv) a third side wall, and (v) a fourth side wall, wherein the fourth side wall is recessed from the perimeter edges of the second front wall and the second opposite wall of said cutter assembly portion such that a channel is defined by the external surface of the fourth side wall of said cutter assembly portion and the internal surface of the second front wall and the internal surface of the second opposite wall of said cutter assembly portion, wherein the internal surface of the third side wall, the interior surface of the fourth side wall and adjacent interior surfaces of the second front wall and second opposite wall of said cutter assembly portion define an vacant chamber of sufficient size for receiving the lit end of a cigarette and containing the cigarette, and the fourth side wall of said cutter assembly portion also defines an aperture for engaging the cutting blade, wherein each of said actuator assembly portion and said cutter assembly portion lie generally longitudinally oriented, said actuator assembly portion and said cutter assembly portion correlating to form a generally longitudinally based structure with the chamber correlating with the opening, wherein the actuator correlates with the cutter blade to move the cutter blade from an open position in which the cutter blade is positioned outward of the chamber to a closed position in which the cutter blade transverses the chamber to sever a cigarette inserted in the chamber. (c) and a receptacle portion which comprises a cylindrical cup with an open end and vacant interior, wherein said receptacle portion longitudinally engages said cutter assembly portion such that the open end of the cylindrical cup correlates with the chamber of said cutter assembly portion so as to receive the lit end of a cigarette.

8. The device according to claim 7 wherein the cutter blade comprises an end, a first part, a second pair, and an opposite edge integrally connected to a cutting edge, wherein the end is integrally attached to the fourth side wall.

9. The device according to claim 8 wherein said actuator assembly portion, said cutter assembly portion, and said receptacle portion are constructed of rigid moldable plastic.

10. The device according to claim 9 wherein the rigid moldable plastic material is polypropylene, polyethylene, polycarbonate, nylon, butadiene styrene copolymer, polyvinyl chloride, polyethylene phthalate, polyethylenetrimethylphthalate, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene terpolymer, or rigid polystyrene, or mixtures thereof.

11. The device according to claim 10 wherein the rigid plastic material is heat resistant.

12. The device according to claim 11 wherein the actuator assembly portion, the cutter assembly portion, and receptacle portion are connected by an engaging means comprising pins and guides, snaps or grooved channels.

13. The device according to claim 12 wherein the cutter blade is fabricated from a metallic material.

14. The device according to claim 13, wherein the metallic material of the cutter blade is spring steel.

15. The device according to claim 14 wherein the bottom edge of the first front wall and the bottom edge of the first opposite wall each include notches for separating said actuator assembly portion from said cutter assembly portion.

Description:

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/696,647, filed on Jul. 6, 2005.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to a cigarette cutter-extinguisher device which is capable of cutting and extinguishing the burning head of a cigarette safely to inhibit the potential for fire and burn damage while protecting the digits or fingers of the user. With changing smoking habits and laws in force at the present time which require tobacco users to smoke in designated areas or outside areas, it is sometimes necessary for a tobacco smoker to put out a burning cigarette immediately after lighting the cigarette due to sudden matters at hand, like an unscheduled need to enter a smoke-free area or building. With the rising cost of smoking materials and the real possibility that a smoker will only be permitted a few puffs, it is imperative to have a device that will safely extinguish the cigarette and, in a second aspect, preserve it for use at a later time. Additionally, if a cigarette smoker discards a burning cigarette without extinguishing the smoking item, the potential arises for fire or burn hazards and damage, in addition to litter problems. For example, if the cigarette smoker throws a non-extinguished cigarette into a trash receptacle or upon any combustible material, the burning cigarette would set fire to the flammable materials. Also, if there is no ashtray available to the cigarette smoker and no convenient place to put a used cigarette butt, the smoker must extinguish the cigarette and put it into one's own pocket or place it into a cigarette package for later use, in either way potentially contaminating the cigarette with dirt or clothing with ash residue, and possibly causing burns. Furthermore, it is wasteful to discard an almost wholly unused cigarette immediately after lighting it.

BACKGROUND ART

There are numerous cigarette or cigar cutters and extinguishers and combinations thereof known in the art. Many patents describe cigarette devices that are combinations of extinguishers and storage devices. Sieggen et al. in U.S. Pat. No. 6,431,177 discloses a device that is roughly shaped like a fountain pen for extinguishing and storing a cigarette. Taylor in U.S. Pat. No. 5,345,953 discloses another cylindrical-shaped cigarette snuffer. Musikin in U.S. Pat. No. 3,978,981 discloses a cylindrical device for a lighted cigar holder, which is also applicable to cigarettes which permits the user to carry a lighted cigar or cigarette on his person. Musetti in U.S. Pat. No. 4,890,715 discloses a “pocket ashtray” in which a cigarette of cigars extinguished. This also is a cylindrically shaped, pen-size device for storing spent tobacco items. Joy in JP10033156A discloses a cigarette extinguisher as a hollow cylindrical tip with a closed end and fitted with a cap. Bingham in U.S. Pat. No. 6,354,302 describes a device for snuffing out lit tobacco products of various diameters where the lit tobacco product is efficiently snuffed out in a cylindrical retaining device that contains a sliding element for snuggly accepting a lit tobacco product. All of these patents disclose a snuffing action and lack of oxygen for extinguishing a tobacco smoking element.

There are also several patents directed towards cigarette cutters and container combinations that provide storage compartments as well as cutters. Maulchin et al in US Patent 2005/0045195 A1 discloses a combined cutter and container wherein a user can cut off the spent part of a cigarette using a cutting element that is external to a storage container and store the unused portion of the cigarette in the container. Yang in U.S. Pat. No. 4,897,033 discloses a cigarette extinguisher which is capable of cutting and extinguishing the head of a cigarette safely. The cutting element is also external the housing of the device. Emery in U.S. Pat. No. 6,295,991 B1 describes a cigar cutter and lighter combination attached to a tubular device for cutting off the end of a cigar wherein the cutting device is external to the tubular housing.

Nielander in U.S. Pat. No. 5,345,952 describes a portable cigarette cutter, extinguisher, and conveyance system where a cigarette is inserted into an aperture located co-axially in a comparatively large, round cylindrical container having a lower reservoir, an upper enclosure, and receiver assembly. The cigarette is cut-off by means of an external member connected to a cutter blade. Due to the size and dimensions of the disclosed system, Nielander does not provide for an easy portable form of a cigarette cutter-extinguisher which has a smooth surface and is compact for carrying in a shirt or pants pocket.

None of the prior art teach a device according to the features of the present invention which allows for the clipping or severing of the burning end of a cigarette, utilizing the cutter blade to block the availability of oxygen to the burning ash and separating the ash from the newly cut cigarette, and maintaining the remaining unused portion in a compact case for storage and subsequent possible re-use, while completely housing internally the cutting blade and actuator mechanism for operating the cutter blade. This ensures the safe handling of the cigarette cutter-extinguisher device in terms of protecting the fingers of users and inhibiting potential finger injuries from the device when the device is potentially mishandled by a child or an infant in an accidental manner.

DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION

In view of the foregoing disadvantages inherent with the known types of cigarette handling devices currently in the art, the present invention provides an improved cigarette extinguishing system with an internal cutting blade and an internal actuator means for operating the cutting blade. As such, the present invention, which will be described subsequently in greater detail, provides a new and improved cigarette cutter-extinguisher and storage device which has all the advantages of the prior art and none of the disadvantages.

The present invention relates to a device for cutting and extinguishing a previously lit cigarette which comprises an actuator assembly portion, a cutter assembly portion, and a receptacle portion for ashes. The actuator assembly portion, cutter assembly portion, and receptacle portion are defined by side walls or surfaces, top sides, and bottom sides that are planar, but can also be arcuate in form to provide annular structure to the device. The actuator assembly portion, the cutter assembly portion and receptacle portion are fabricated of a rigid moldable plastic material selected from the class of rigid moldable plastics including polypropylene, polyethylene, polycarbonate, nylon, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene polymer (ABS), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyethylenephthalate (PET), polyethylenetrimethylphthalate (PTT), rigid polystyrene and mixtures thereof. Preferably, the rigid moldable plastic material is heat resistant.

The actuator assembly portion comprises side walls, a top side that is perpendicular to the side walls where the top side of the actuator assembly portion defines an opening to receive a lit cigarette, and a cap to engage the opening, and an actuator means. The internal surfaces of the side wall define an open space that correlates with the opening to receive a lit cigarette. The sidewalls also define structure that provides an actuator means for engaging the cutter blade in the cutter assembly portion in the device as described below.

In a preferred embodiment, the actuator assembly portion comprises a front wall, an opposite wall, a first side wall and a second side wall, a top side that defines an opening, and an open bottom side, a cap, and an actuator means. The front wall, the opposite wall, the first side wall, the second side wall, and the top side are integrally connected to form a cuboid structure which contains a vacant space therein. The front wall, the opposite wall, the first side wall, and the second side wall form an exterior surface and interior surface with structure which defines the vacant space therein to allow for the receiving of a lit end of a cigarette. Also provided is a cuboid shaped actuator means in which an actuator which comprises an end and an opposite end where the end is integrally connected to the internal surface of the top side. The internal surface of the second side wall of the actuator assembly portion may optionally be integrally connected to the side of the actuator. The opposite end of the actuator is free standing. The actuator may also have arcuate features in addition to planar features, and may be of cylindrical or tubular form. It is the action of the opposite end of the actuator which, when correlated with the cutter blade in a plunging type movement, engages the cutter blade to cut-off the burning end of the cigarette.

Next is provided a cylindrical cap. The cap has a diameter or dimensions to fit over the top side of the actuator assembly portion. The cap has a cylindrical stopper of a reduced diameter extending inwardly into the actuator assembly portion to keep a cigarette in the device for storage purposes. A hinge is next provided. The hinge is integrally formed with the exterior surface of the top side of the actuator assembly portion attached by a pin and channel structure.

The cutter assembly portion comprises side walls that define an empty chamber to receive a lit cigarette and a cutter blade wherein the cutter blade comprises an end that is integrally attached cutter assembly portion and an opposite end that is attached to a cutter edge. The cutter edge is provided with a rectangular cutting portion integral with an outer sharp tip portion. The cutter blade extends externally outward outwardly from the cigarette receiving chamber when the device is ready to receive a cigarette. This position of the cutter blade is herein referred to as the open position. When the cutter blade is correlated with and engaged with the actuator means, the cutter blade is caused to enter the cigarette receiving chamber and now extends transversely across the chamber and is able to sever a portion of the cigarette or smoking element and simultaneously seal the cut-off ashes from an air and oxygen source, thereby causing the ashes to be extinguished. This position of the cutter blade is herein referred to as the closed position. The chamber for receiving the cigarette is herein referred to as the cigarette receiving chamber, or simply chamber.

In a preferred embodiment, the cutter assembly portion comprises a cutter blade, a front wall, an opposite wall, a first side wall and a second side wall wherein the second wall of the cutter assembly portion is recessed from the perimeter edges of the front wall of the cutter assembly portion and the opposite wall of the cutter assembly portion such that a channel is defined by the external surfaces and structure of the second side wall of the cutter assembly and the internal surface of the front wall of the cutter assembly portion and the internal surface of the opposite wall of the cutter assembly portion. The internal surfaces of the first side wall and adjacent interior surfaces of the front wall and opposite wall and the structures of said cutter-extinguisher assembly define the cigarette receiving chamber for receiving the lit end of a smoking element. The second side wall of the cutter assembly portion also defines an aperture to the cigarette receiving channel. The placement of the aperture ranges in location from the bottom edge of the second side wall to the upper edge of the second side wall.

Integrated to the side of the second side wall adjacent to the defined channel and distal to the cigarette receiving chamber is the cutter blade which has one end attached to the second side wall and has a sharp cutting edge integrally attached to the opposite end. The cutting blade comprises a blade with an end, a first part and a second part, an opposite end, and a cutting edge. The cutting edge is integrally attached to the opposite end. The cutting edge is provided with a rectangular cutting portion that is integral with an outer sharp tip portion.

The cutter blade is positioned such that the end is attached to the recessed side wall of the cutter assembly portion in a position distil to the chamber and proximal to the channel where the first part of the cutter blade extends transversely downward into the channel and the second part of the cutter blade is bent horizontally at an angle so that it transverses the channel in a horizontal direction and vertically below the first part of the cutter blade to engage the aperture in the second side wall of the cutter assembly portion. The cutter blade is constructed of metal. Most preferably, the cutter blade is constructed of spring steel.

In this respect, the engagement movement of the actuator with the cutter blade causes the cutter blade and cutter edge to transverse the cigarette receiving chamber when the actuator means contacts and pushes on the cutter blade. The position where the actuator means does not contact the cutter blade, and the cutter blade is located external to the chamber, is called the open position. The position where the actuator contacts the cutter blade and thereby pushes the cutter blade and cutter edge into the chamber is defined as the closed position. When a lit cigarette is placed in the cigarette receiving chamber, the blade now cuts the cigarette as the blade is caused to move from the open position to the closed position.

The actuator assembly portion and the cutter assembly portion are of such dimensions that the side walls, top side and bottom side of the actuator assembly portion are of a slightly larger dimension than the corresponding wall on the cutter assembly portion. This allows for placement of the actuator assembly portion over the cutter assembly portion in an enclosing manner. The correlation of the actuator assembly portion and cutter assembly portion are such that the opening in the top side wall of the actuator assembly portion correlates with the chamber defined by the cutter assembly portion that is used for receiving a lit cigarette and the actuator means correlates with the channel structure of the cutter assembly portion that guides or channels the actuator means to engage the cutter blade.

The actuator assembly portion and the cutter assembly portion are correlated and thereby attached by an attachment means such that the actuator assembly portion encloses the cutter assembly portion, and the opening in the actuator assembly portion correlates with the chamber formed by the interior sides of the walls of the cutter assembly portion, and the accenuator correlates with the channel formed by the walls in the cutter assembly portion. This is accomplished by an attachment means well known in the art, such as snaps, pin and guide combinations, and the like. The actuator assembly portion has a pin attached to its internal surface to fit into a guide located on the external surface of the cutter assembly portion which locks the two portions together as the cutter blade is moved from the open to the closed position. A second pin and guide combination engages both the actuator assembly portion and the cutter assembly portion to keep the two portions from separating completely.

The receptacle portion comprises a planar structure and a cup that is cylindrical in shape. The cup is integrally connected to the planar structure. The side wall defined by the cup cylinder provides structure wherein when the receptacle portion is correlated with the bottom end of the cutter assembly portion, the top opening of the cylindrical cup, its peripheral edge at the opening, and its interior side defines an empty space that is aligned with the chamber for receiving the lit end of the cigarette. The receptacle portion is attached to the bottom side of the cutter assembly portion by pins, grooves, or any attachment means well known in the art. These attachment means allow for the receptacle portion to be correlated and attached to the cutter assembly portion during operation and storage, but removed from the cutter assembly portion by a pulling, pushing, sliding or pivot action to remove cooled ash and spent cigarette residue.

There has thus been outlined, rather broadly, the more important features of the invention in order that the detailed description thereof that flows may be better understood and in order that the present contribution to the art may be better appreciated. There are, of course, additional features of the invention that will be described hereinafter and which will form the subject matter of the claims attached.

In this respect, before explaining at least one embodiment of the invention in detail, it is understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and to the arrangement of the components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of descriptions and should not be regarded as limiting.

As described above, the cigarette extinguisher of this invention is capable of cutting and extinguishing a burning cigarette while storing the remaining portion of the cigarette to avoid wasting a cigarette while safely protecting the digits of the cigarette consumer.

Therefore, it is an object of this invention to provide a cigarette cutter-extinguisher to extinguishing a burning cigarette safely.

It is another object of this invention to provide a cigarette cutter-extinguisher for cutting off a burning head of a cigarette, extinguishing it completely and storing the cooled ashes for later disposal.

It is another object of this invention to provide a cigarette cutter-extinguisher where the cutter blade functions simultaneously to cut of the burning end of a cigarette and inhibit the availability of oxygen to the burning residual ashes.

It is another object of the invention to provide a cigarette cutter-extinguisher for temporarily storing a cut-off cigarette for re-use.

It is furthermore an object of this invention to provide a cigarette cutter-extinguisher cutter device with an internally contained cutting mechanism to safely protect the digits of a smoking consumer and the digits of a child.

And still another object of the present invention is to provide a cigarette extinguishing system for extinguishing a lit cigarette and retaining the freshly cut end of the cigarette for relighting in a safe, convenient, and taste-retaining manner while providing for easy handling and portable storage such that ashes will not dirty up pockets or litter floors or entrances to buildings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

This invention will be explained in more detail on the basis of an exemplary embodiment with reference to the drawings.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the cigarette butt cutter device, constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention.

FIG. 2 shows a bottom perspective view of the actuator assembly portion of the device shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 shows a top sectional view of the actuator assembly portion of the device shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 shows an enlarged view of the cap of the actuator assembly portion of the device shown in as seen in FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 shows a perspective view of the cutter assembly portion of the device shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 6 shows a sectional view of the cutter assembly portion as shown in FIG. 5 that includes the insertion of a cigarette and a view of the cutter blade.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the ash receptacle portion of the device presented in FIG. 1.

FIG. 8 shows a vertical sectional view of the correlation of the actuator assembly portion, the cutter assembly portion, and the receptacle portion of the device shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 9 shows the steps for receiving and cutting a cigarette in the device presented in FIG. 1 and FIG. 8.

FIG. 10 shows a cylindrical form of the butt-cutter-cigarette extinguisher device of the present invention.

MODE(S) FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION

With reference now to the drawings, and in particular to FIG. 1, the preferred embodiment of the cigarette cutter-extinguisher device using the principles and concepts of the present invention is presented. The cigarette cutter-extinguisher device 10 of the present invention is comprised of a plurality of components. Such components in their broadest context include an actuator assembly portion 11, a cutter assembly portion 12, and a receptacle portion 13. The actuator assembly portion 11 characterizes an actuator means which activates the cutter element and the cutter-extinguisher assembly portion 12 characterizes a cutter blade that is activated by engagement with the actuator means. Such components are individually configured and correlated with respect to each other so as to gain the desired objective.

In its simplest form, the device provides for a chamber into which a cigarette is received and the burning tip is cut-off by a cutter blade wherein the ashes fall into a receptacle. The cutter blade also closes the cigarette receiving chamber to inhibit the availability of oxygen to the cut-off cigarette residue in the receptacle and the ashes are thereby extinguished and kept separate from the freshly cut cigarette. The cigarette receiving chamber provides a storage area until the cigarette is removed for further use. The cutting blade is activated by the movement of an actuator means in a channel, causing the cutter blade to move transversely in the cigarette receiving chamber and cut off the lit end of the cigarette.

The preferred embodiment of a cigarette or cigar cutter-extinguisher device is represented at 10 in FIG. 1. It will be noted that with appropriate changes in dimension and sizes that the cigarette cutter-extinguisher device can also be used for cutting, extinguishing and storing cigars. Device 10 is shown illustratively as a cuboid structure with annular shape, but it will be understood that the invention may be embodied in other assembly structures that use arcuate surfaces for a more annular structure or which use a combination of arcuate and planar surfaces or use nearly cylindrical or cylindrical surfaces.

The actuator assembly portion 11 comprises an actuator 29, a cap 33, a front wall 14, an opposite wall 15, a first side wall 16, a second side wall 17, a top side 18 that is defined by an opening 19, and an open bottom side 20 wherein the front wall 14 of the actuator assembly portion, the opposite wall 15 of the actuator assembly portion, the first side wall 16 of the actuator assembly portion, and the second side wall 17 of the actuator assembly portion are substantially perpendicular and downwardly dependent from the top side 18 of the actuator assembly portion. Furthermore, the bottom edge of the front wall 14 of the actuator assembly portion is defined by a notch 21, and the bottom edge of the opposite wall 15 of the actuator assembly portion is defined by an opposite notch 22. The presence of notches 21 and 22 as well as their function will become apparent in the description of the operation of the device. The presence of the notches will allow the consumer to move the actuator assembly portion with respect to cutter assembly portion in the operation of the cigarette cutter-extinguisher device and also in the removal of the receptacle portion for ash discarding.

The interior surface 23 of the front wall of the actuator assembly portion, the interior surface 24 of the opposite wall of the actuator assembly portion, the interior surface 25 of the first side wall of the actuator assembly portion, and the interior surface 26 of the second side wall of the actuator assembly portion and the interior surface 27 of the top side of the actuator assembly portion define an open space 28 that is deep enough in length to accommodate the length of a cigarette. Preferably, the length of the open space 28 ranges from 50 mm to 120 mm. The opening 19 in the top side 18 of the actuator assembly portion has a diameter dimension or diagonal width such that it is able to receive a cigarette. If a device according to the present invention is to be used for cigars, the dimensions will, of course, be larger.

An actuator 29 with a cuboid shape with an end 30 and an opposite end 31 and extended part 32 is integrally connected by the end 30 to the interior surface 27 of the top side of the actuator assembly portion and the interior surface 26 of the second side wall of the actuator assembly portion. The opposite end 31 of the actuator 29 is in a position such that it will correlate with a cutter blade. The actuator is positioned in a vertically downward from the top side 18 of the actuator assembly portion. The actuator may also be in the three-dimensional triangular shape, or a cylindrical shape, only limited by its effectiveness as use as a plunger.

A cylindrical cap 33 is also provided. The cap has a diameter to fit snuggly into the aperture in the top surface of the actuator assembly portion and is integrally connected to a stopper. The stopper 34 has a cylindrically raised surface of reduced diameter extending inwardly into the actuator assembly portion opening 19 and into the assembly portion open space 28. The cap allows the user to store the extinguished cigarette in the device 10 until further re-use without allowing the cigarette to accidentally fall-out of the device. A hinge 35 is either integrally connected to the cap and the hinge is either integrated into the actuator assembly portion or attached by a pin mechanism 36.

A cutter assembly portion 12 is provided that comprises and a cutter element 44, a front wall 37, an opposite wall 38, a first side wall 39, and a second side wall 40 that extend vertically upward from an open bottom side 41. The second side wall 40 of the cutter assembly portion is recessed from the perimeter edge of the front wall 37 of the cutter assembly portion and the opposite wall 38 of the cutter assembly portion such that a channel 42 is defined by the external surfaces of the second side wall 40 of the cutter assembly portion, and the internal sides of the front wall 37 of the cutter assembly portion and the internal side of the opposite wall 38 of the cutter assembly portion that are adjacent to each other. The channel 42 forms a guide channel for the actuator 29 when the actuator assembly portion 11 is correlated with the cutter assembly portion 12. Additionally, the second side wall 40 defines an aperture 43.

The interior surface of the front wall 37, the interior surface of the opposite wall 38, the interior surface of the first side wall 39, and interior surface of the second side wall 40 of the cutter assembly portion define a chamber 53 that is capable of receiving the lit end of a cigarette, where herein said chamber will be referred to as the cigarette receiving chamber or simply chamber.

A cutter blade 44 is associated with the cutter assembly portion wherein the cutter blade comprises an end 45, a first part 46, a second part 47, an opposite end 48, and a cutting edge 49. The opposite end 48 of the cutter blade is integrally attached to a cutting edge 49. The cutter edge is provided with a rectangular cutting portion integrated with an outer sharp tip portion. The end 45 of the cutter blade is integrally attached to the second side wall 40 and the first part 46 extends transversely downward across the channel 42. It is then bent horizontally in such a fashion the second part 47 of the cutter blade traverses channel 42 in a horizontal direction vertically below the first part 46 of the cutter blade and is correlated with aperture 43. When the actuator 29 is not engaged with the first part 46 of the cutter blade 44, the cutter blade 44 does not extend beyond the aperture 43 into chamber 53, the position of which is herein referred to as being in a position external or outward to the chamber, or an open position.

It is important part of this invention that the actuator assembly portion and the cutter-extinguisher assembly portion be correlated together. Preferably the actuator assembly portion 11 is very slightly larger in dimensions, that is width, length, and height than the sides of the cutter assembly portion 12, such that when the actuator assembly portion correlates with the cutter assembly portion in an enveloping or longitudinally manner, the front wall 14 of the actuator assembly portion becomes parallel but slightly spaced and outwardly located from the front wall 37 of the cutter assembly portion. Likewise, the opposite wall 15 of the actuator assembly portion becomes parallel but slightly spaced and outwardly located from the opposite wall 38 of the cutter assembly portion. Likewise the first side wall 16 of the actuator assembly portion becomes parallel but slightly spaced and outwardly located from the first side wall 39 of the cutter assembly portion. Likewise, the second side wall 17 of the actuator assembly portion becomes parallel and spaced and outwardly located from the second side wall 40 of the cutter assembly portion. The correlation of the second wall of the actuator assembly portion 17 with the recessed second side wall 40 of the cutter assembly portion encloses the channel 42 that receives the actuator 29. For example, to accommodate a 100 mm cigarette, the actuator assembly portion is 9.5 cm in height from the top side to bottom side, 3.8 cm in length from the first side to the second side, and 2 cm in width from the front wall to the opposite wall.

The actuator assembly portion 11 may engage the cutter assembly portion 12 by means of a pair of channels or other guide rails on either the actuator assembly portion 11 or the cutter assembly portion 12 with appropriate guides on the other portion 11 or 12, thus permitting actuator assembly portion 11 to slide longitudinally onto cutter assembly portion 12. Further still, the actuator assembly portion 11 may snap onto the cutter assembly portion 12 through appropriate snap fixtures which may involve pins and guides on appropriate parts of portions 11 and 12 or other suitable snap-flitting structures. Whichever specific engagement device is used, actuator assembly portion 11 will engage cutter assembly portion 12 so that the actuator assembly portion 11 may close upon the cutter assembly portion 12 to activate the cutter blade.

Of course, dimensions can be altered such that a vice versa correlation of the actuator assembly portion and the cutter assembly portion can be envisioned wherein the cutter assembly portion envelops the actuator assembly on correlation.

The receptacle portion 13 comprises a bottom side 50 and a raised cylindrical cup 51 that is integrally connected to the bottom side of said receptacle portion. Side walls 52 of the cylindrical cup 51 provide structure wherein when said receptacle is correlated with the bottom of the cutter assembly portion 12, the periphery and the open end and vacant interior of the cylindrical cup 51 is aligned with the chamber 53 for receiving the lit end of the cigarette. The receptacle portion is correlated and thereby attached to the bottom side of the cutter assembly portion by attachment means 54 well know in the art such as channels, grooves, guide rails, pins and guides, and snaps. The choice of attachment means must allow for the receptacle portion to be attached to the cutter assembly portion during operation and storage, but to be able to be removed from the cutter assembly portion by any pulling, pushing, and sliding or pivot action to allow for the discarding of cigarette residue and ash.

The position of the bottom surface of the interior of the cylindrical cup, wherein the bottom surface is integrally attached to the interior side walls of the cylindrical cup, provides a stop such that when the lit end of the cigarette is placed adjacent to the bottom surface, the unlit portion of the cigarette is positioned laterally to aperture 43 so that a minimal amount of unlit cigarette is cut-off when the cutter blade is placed in the closed position.

In another embodiment of the present invention, the cutter—extinguisher device 74 is of a cylindrical design as seen in FIG. 10 and is a plurality of components which are correlated and connected to each other and which include an actuator assembly portion, a cutter assembly portion, and a receptacle portion integrally connected to the cutter assembly portion.

The actuator assembly portion 55 is of a cylindrical shape with a side wall 56, an upper end 57 that defines an opening 58 and an open bottom end 59 wherein the side walls and ends define an open space 63. The interior of the side wall of the cylinder is comprised of three integrally connected parts, the first part 60 of the side wall is adjacent to the bottom end 59 and rises perpendicularly and vertically from the bottom end for a distance that is approximately equal to the length of a burning end of a cigarette. The second part 61 of the side wall tapers radially inward toward the open space 63 to where the diameter of the side wall now approaches the diameter of a cigarette. The third part 62 of the side wall expands vertically to the upper end. The third part 62 of the interior side walls provides for an open space in which a lit cigarette can be received. The inwardly extending interior sidewall provides structure to engage and close a set of cutter blades 66 and thereby provides a means for actuating the cutter blades.

Next is provided a cylindrical cap 64. The cap 64 has a diameter to fit over the opening 58.

Next is provided a cylindrical structure formed with a side wall 65 which is integrally connected to a circular bottom side 67 and the open upper end of the cylindrical structure provides an opening that correlates with the actuator assembly portion 55. An empty cylindrical cup 68 of smaller diameter than the cylindrical structure is integrally connected to the circular bottom side. The cup 68 is coaxially centered on the bottom side 67 of the cylindrical structure and forms a receptacle portion of the device presented in FIG. 10. The cup also has an open upper end and an interior cavity which, when the cylindrical structure is correlated the actuator assembly portion 55, the cup is in essential alignment with the interior surface of the third part of the side wall adjacent to the open space so that it is able to receive the lit end of a cigarette.

Next are provided cutter blades 66. Each cutter blade 66 has an end 69, a first part 70, a second part 71, an opposite end 72, and a cutting edge 73. The opposite end of the cutter blade is integrally attached to a cutting edge 73. The cutter edge is provided with a triangular cutting portion integrated with an outer sharp tip portion. The end 69 of the cutter blade is integrally attached to the side wall of the cylindrical cup that is distal or exterior to the interior cavity that receives the cigarette ash, the first part extends outwardly to the second part of the side wall 61 of the actuator assembly portion 55 and the second part 71 of the cutter blade extends transversely upward in the direction of the open space 63. The cutter blade does not extend into the open space 63 and is referred to be in a position external or outward to the cavity, when the actuator is not engaged with the first part of the cutter blades represented by 66.

It is important part of this invention that the actuator assembly portion and the cutter-extinguisher assembly portion be correlated together. Preferably the actuator assembly portion 55 is very slightly larger in dimensions, that is the diameter and height, compared to the sides of the cutter assembly portion, such that when the actuator assembly portion correlates with the cutter assembly portion in an enveloping or longitudinally manner. The side wall 56 of the actuator assembly portion becomes parallel but slightly spaced and inwardly located from the side wall 65 of the cutter assembly portion.

The actuator assembly portion may engage the cutter assembly portion by means of a pair of channels or other guide rails on either the actuator assembly portion or the cutter assembly portion with appropriate guides on the other portion, thus permitting actuator assembly portion to slide longitudinally onto cutter assembly portion. Further still, the actuator assembly portion may snap onto the cutter assembly portion through appropriate snap fixtures which may involve pins and guides on appropriate parts of portions or other suitable snap-flitting structures. Whichever specific engagement device is used, actuator assembly portion will engage cutter assembly portion so that the actuator assembly portion may close upon the cutter assembly portion to activate the cutter blade.

Thus the device of FIG. 10 operates in the following technical manner. A top or lid on the opposite end of the cylinder is opened so that the cylindrical cavity is revealed. The user can then place a burning or lit cigarette into the cylindrical cavity wherein the lit end of the cigarette is placed in a vertical portion below the blades which are in a retracted position. When the user pushes up on the cylindrical sleeve all the cutting edges simultaneously come together adjacent to each other and this action closes in on the lit end of the cigarette. The lit end and ashes then fall vertically into the cylindrical open space and are kept in place by the now closed or adjacently positioned cutting edges. The ashes are thereby asphyxiated and safely stored until cooled and removed. Upon cutting the lit end of the cigarette, the newly exposed fresh end of the cigarette is stored, can be removed, for re-use or disposal. In a like manner, this apparatus can also be applied to cigars with the appropriate dimension that the cylindrical cavity is the approximate diameter of a cigar.

INDUSTRIAL APPLICATIONS

In order for the device to function as intended, it is important that the actuator assembly portion be correlated with the cutter assembly portion and the receptacle portion be correlated with the cutter assembly portion, and hence, all portions are correlated simultaneously. This allows the actuator to activate the cutter blade and the receptacle portion to receive the cut cigarette residue when the cigarette is placed in the cigarette receiving chamber as seen in FIG. 9. When the actuator assembly portion, the cutter assembly portion, and the receptacle portion are correlated or conjoined in a vertical or longitudinal manner, the opening present in the top side of the actuator assembly portion is integrated with the cigarette receiving chamber in the cutter assembly portion and the empty cylindrical cup in the receptacle is integrated with the chamber such that a lit cigarette can be placed through the opening into the chamber and is stopped at the bottom surface of the open cylindrical structure in the receptacle portion. To receive the cigarette in the chamber, the cutter assembly portion and the actuator assembly portion must be separated in such a manner that the actuator is not engaging the cutter blade and the cutter blade in extended externally of the aperture and does not engage the chamber. This results in an open position of the cutting blade. When the actuator assembly portion and the cutter assembly portion are pushed longitudinally together so that they engage and the actuator means engages the cutter blade, the cutter blade is pushed transversely into the cigarette receiving chamber. When a cigarette is located in the cigarette receiving chamber, the cutter blade then cuts the cigarette and cigarette residue drops into the cylindrical cup of the receptacle portion. The cutter blade physically separates the freshly cut cigarette from the ash residues. The now freshly cut cigarette can be stored in the cigarette receiving chamber for further use and is removed by opening the cap covering the opening of the device. The actuator assembly portion and the cutter assembly portion can be partially separated to disengage the cutter blade from the actuator and return the cutter blade back to the open position. This is facilely accomplished by the placement of notches in the external structure which will allow for the user to partially engage or disengage both the actuator and the cutter assembly portions in a longitudinal direction.

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.

As such, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the conception, upon which this disclosure is based, can readily be utilized as a basis for the designing of other structures, methods, and systems for carrying out the several purposes of the present invention. It is important, therefore, that the claims be regarded as including such equivalent constructions insofar as they do not depart from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

Although this invention has been described in its preferred form with a certain degree of particularly and detail, it is understood that the present disclose of the preferred form may be somewhat changed, constructed or combination of parts may switched without departing form the spirit and scope of the invention as hereafter claimed.





 
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