Title:
Integrated Pipe and Lighter System
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The preferred embodiments of the present invention holds significant improvements and serves as an integrated pipe and lighter system apparatus comprising: a repository for containing a tobacco product; a selectively removable and refillable fuel container; a mouthpiece; an adjustable vented combustion chamber; an ignition switch; a fine gauge screen; a C-Clip; and a coarse screen. The integrated pipe and lighter system of the present invention substantially ensures the smoker will always have a “light” for consuming tobacco products. The fuel container of the most preferred embodiment of the present invention is refillable and has an adjustable flame height. The integrated pipe and lighter system can be safely stored during non-use periods in a protective storage tube.



Inventors:
Johnson, Dion (Phoenix, AZ, US)
Application Number:
12/256360
Publication Date:
07/09/2009
Filing Date:
10/22/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
131/195
International Classes:
A24F13/04
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
MAYES, DIONNE WALLS
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WRIGHT LAW GROUP, PLLC (MESA, AZ, US)
Claims:
1. An apparatus comprising: at least one repository for containing at least one tobacco product; and at least one removable fuel container, wherein said at least one repository and said at least one removable fuel container are coupled in an integrated relationship.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising at least one vented combustion chamber positioned between said at least one repository and said at least one removable fuel container.

3. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein at least one mouthpiece is removably coupled to said at least one repository.

4. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said at least one repository further comprises at least one fine gauge screen and at least one securer permitting substantial containment of said at least one tobacco product within said repository.

5. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said at least one removable fuel container is refillable with at least one ignitable fuel.

6. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said at least one removable fuel container further comprises at least one ignition switch for igniting at least one ignitable fuel contained within said at least one removable fuel container.

7. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said at least one removable fuel container further comprises at least one fuel volume adjuster for adjusting at least one flame to at least one user-preferred height.

8. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising at least one protective storage tube for containing said apparatus during at least one period of non-use.

9. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein said at least one vented combustion chamber further comprises at least one rotatable damper mechanism to control a burn rate of at least one tobacco product contained within said at least one vented combustion chamber.

10. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein said at least one vented combustion chamber further comprises at least one slotted orifice.

11. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein said at least one repository further comprises at least one filter.

12. An apparatus comprising: a repository for containing a tobacco product; a fuel container removably coupled to said repository, said fuel container comprising: a refillable fuel reservoir; an ignition switch for igniting a fuel contained within said fuel reservoir; and a fuel volume adjuster for adjusting a flame to a user-preferred height; a mouthpiece comprising a rubberized material removably coupled to said repository; a vented combustion chamber comprising four slotted orifices, said vented combustion chamber further comprising a rotatable damper to control a burn rate of said tobacco product; a removable fine gauge screen; a first removable C-Clip securing said removable fine gauge screen in said repository; a removable coarse screen; and a second removable C-Clip securing said removable coarse screen in said vented combustion chamber.

13. The apparatus of claim 12 wherein said apparatus in provided in combination with at least one set of user instructions to comprise at least one kit.

14. A method comprising the steps of: opening at least one repository; placing at least one combustible tobacco product into said at least one repository; and removably coupling said at least one repository to at least one fuel container thereby creating an integrated relationship.

15. The method of claim 14 further comprising the steps of: activating at least one ignition switch to create at least one spark for igniting said at least one tobacco product; and consuming said at least one tobacco product.

16. The method of claim 15 wherein said fuel container is removed from said at least one repository and refilled with at least one ignitable fuel.

17. The method of claim 15 wherein said at least one fuel container further comprises at least one ignition switch for igniting at least one ignitable fuel.

18. The method of claim 14 further comprising the step of coupling a vented combustion chamber between said at least one repository and said at least one fuel container, wherein said at least one vented combustion chamber comprises a rotatable damper mechanism.

19. The method of claim 18 further comprising the step of rotating said rotatable damper mechanism to control an air flow within said vented combustion chamber.

20. The method of claim 15 further comprising the steps of: removing integrated pipe and lighter system assembly from a protective storage tube; opening said a repository from a vented combustion chamber; depositing said tobacco product into said repository; closing said repository and removably coupling said repository back onto said vented combustion chamber; activating and releasing an ignition switch to create an ignition of said tobacco product; inhaling smoke intermittently until said tobacco product is consumed; opening said tobacco repository; removing ashes of consumed said tobacco product from said repository; allowing said integrated pipe and lighter system assembly to cool; and returning said integrated pipe and lighter system assembly into said protective storage tube.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

The present application is related to and claims priority from prior provisional application Ser. No. 61/010,136, filed Jan. 7, 2008 which application is now pending and which application is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Technical Field

The present invention relates generally to the field of pipes and more specifically relates to an apparatus incorporating a combination tobacco pipe and lighting device.

2. Background Art

Problems exist for tobacco smokers when ignition sources for lighting of a tobacco product are lost or misplaced. Tobacco smoking requires an initial flame or heat source to cause the tobacco to ignite so that the resulting smoke can be inhaled by the smoker. The smoker is thereby inconvenienced by being required to carry an independent ignition source such as a lighter or sulfur matches. This act itself may be dangerous because the potential ignition source is stored and ever-present on the smoker's person which can lead to burns if the right conditions are met. Sulfur matches may be come wet rendering them unusable; a lighter may become empty or lost, both conditions leave the smoker without a “light”. Without an ignition source the smoker is unable to consume the desired tobacco product.

Many times tobacco smoke can be difficult to ignite or to keep lit due to windy conditions or damp tobacco. In conditions such as these the smoker must seek shelter from the elements and attempt to ignite the tobacco, often numerous times before actually consuming the product. Thus, a need exists for a safe, portable, self-contained, integrated pipe and lighter system to operate reliably, allowing the smoker to maintain a lit tobacco product for his enjoyment and to avoid the above-mentioned problems.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The preferred embodiments of the present invention holds significant improvements and serves as an integrated pipe and lighter system apparatus comprising: a repository for containing a tobacco product; a selectively removable and refillable fuel container; a mouthpiece; an adjustable vented combustion chamber; an ignition switch; a fine gauge screen; a C-Clip; and a coarse screen. The integrated pipe and lighter system of the present invention substantially ensures the smoker will always have a “light” for consuming tobacco products. The fuel container of the most preferred embodiment of the present invention is refillable and has an adjustable flame height. The integrated pipe and lighter system can be safely stored during non-use periods in a protective storage tube. Further features and advantages of the present invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description, taken with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The preferred embodiments of the present invention will hereinafter be described in conjunction with the appended drawings, wherein like designations denote like elements.

FIG. 1 shows a perspective view, illustrating an integrated pipe and lighter system as used, in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 shows an exploded sectional view, illustrating an integrated pipe and lighter system, in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 shows an exploded perspective view, illustrating the components of an integrated pipe and lighter system in accordance with one of the most preferred embodiments of the present invention.

FIG. 4 shows a flowchart, illustrating a method of use of an integrated pipe and lighter system assembly in accordance with one of the most preferred embodiments of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The present invention holds significant improvements in available methods of use for smoking tobacco products including: removing the integrated pipe and lighter system assembly from the protective storage tube; unscrewing the tobacco repository from the vented combustion chamber; loosely filling the tobacco repository with a tobacco product; screwing the tobacco repository back onto the vented combustion chamber; clicking and releasing the ignition switch to create an ignition of the tobacco product; inhaling the smoke intermittently until the tobacco product is consumed; removing the ashes that result from the consumed tobacco product from the tobacco repository; re-filling and reusing the integrated pipe and lighter system assembly if desired or allowing the integrated pipe and lighter system assembly to cool; and finally returning the integrated pipe and lighter system assembly to its protective storage tube. This unique method permits a smoker to conveniently smoke tobacco in windy and damp conditions. In addition, it is relatively cost-effective given that it provides the user with the option of using bulk tobacco instead of the more expensive custom blends. The integrated pipe and lighter system is durable, safe, relatively easy to disassemble and maintain and highly portable.

The present invention offers the smoker a variety of options including the ability to insert a filter between the tobacco repository and the mouthpiece; the option to maintain and replace parts as needed by conveniently uncoupling the various parts from each other and cleaning them and reinstalling or replacing parts; the ability to dampen airflow into the vented combustion chamber according to user-preference as dictated by environmental conditions or preference.

Referring now to FIG. 1, showing a perspective view, illustrating an integrated pipe and lighter system 100 in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention. Integrated pipe and lighter system 100 functions to allow at least one smoker 110 to inhale smoke exhausted from at least one tobacco product, which is contained within the body of integrated pipe and lighter system 100. Integrated pipe and lighter system 100 is shown in use by smoker 110 and at least one preferred method of use is described in conjunction with FIG. 4. Integrated pipe and lighter system 100, by its integrated design, permits smoker 110 to enjoy smoking tobacco product in adverse weather conditions that would be normally unsuitable for such activity. Wind and moisture have little effect on the combustion cycle for the tobacco product since integrated pipe and lighter system 100 is a substantially enclosed system.

Referring now to FIG. 2, an exploded sectional view of integrated pipe and lighter system assembly 100 of FIG. 1, in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention is illustrated. Integrated pipe and lighter system assembly 100 preferably comprises: at least one mouthpiece 112; at least one tobacco repository 114; at least one vented combustion chamber 116; and at least one fuel container 120, as shown.

Mouthpiece 112 preferably comprises a rubber-like material or similar soft but durable material and is preferably tapered to preferably provide a sealable friction fit onto or over the end of tobacco repository 114. Mouthpiece 112 preferably isolates the heat produced by the burning of tobacco product 126 within tobacco repository 114 to protect a smoker from burning their mouth or lips when contacting integrated pipe and lighter system assembly 100.

Mouthpiece 112 preferably comprises at least one through bore allowing smoke to be inhaled from tobacco repository 114 into mouth and lungs of smoker 110. Upon reading this specification, those with ordinary skill in the art will now appreciate that, under appropriate circumstances, considering such issues as design preference, user preferences, marketing preferences, cost, structural requirements, available materials, technological advances, etc., other mouthpiece materials and configurations such as, for example, plastic, ceramic, various types of rubbers, mouthpieces having various numbers of holes, etc., may suffice.

Tobacco repository 114 preferably comprises a cylindrically-shaped structure that is preferably machined from at least one durable material. More specifically, tobacco repository 114 preferably comprises an aluminum alloy or similar material which is durable, lightweight, cost-effective and easy to machine and provides for rapid heat dissipation when in use. Upon reading this specification, those with ordinary skill in the art will now appreciate that, under appropriate circumstances, considering such issues as design preference, user preferences, marketing preferences, cost, structural requirements, available materials, technological advances, etc., other tobacco repository materials or manufacturing methods such as, for example, other ferrous and non-ferrous metals or their alloys, ceramics, glass, formed using other forms of manufacturing such as molding, punching, etc. may suffice.

Tobacco repository 114 preferably connects to vented combustion chamber 116 preferably via at least one male threaded connection preferably to at least one female threaded connection in vented combustion chamber 116. Tobacco repository 114 also preferably comprises at least one fine gauge screen 130 preferably designed to prevent tobacco product 126 from entering mouthpiece 112. Tobacco product 126 is purposely isolated from entering mouthpiece 112 in an effort to protect smoker 110 from potential burns and from the less palatable tastes that may occur if tobacco product 126 is allowed to enter the mouth of smoker 110. Fine gauge screen 130 preferably comprises a ferrous or alternately preferably comprises suitable non-ferrous material able to withstand temperatures reached (in excess of about 800° C.) when tobacco product 126 is burning. Fine gauge screen 130 is preferably removable and easily replaceable should fine gauge screen 130 become damaged, clogged with tar, particulates or other such materials. Fine gauge screen 130 is preferably secured in place preferably using at least one C-Clip 132 acting as at least one securer. C-Clip 132 may be fitted into a groove designed to receive C-Clip 132 or simply press fit into the interior body of tobacco repository 114.

C-Clip 132 preferably comprises at least one ferrous material, more preferably made from spring steel to allow smoker 110 to intermittently remove, maintain or replace fine gauge screen 130. Upon reading this specification, those with ordinary skill in the art will now appreciate that, under appropriate circumstances, considering such issues as design preference, user preferences, marketing preferences, cost, structural requirements, available materials, technological advances, etc., other C-Clip materials such as, for example, other ferrous and non-ferrous metals, ceramics, and securing devices other than clips such as welds, notches, adhesives, etc. may suffice.

Tobacco repository 114 most preferably comprises at least one external taper as shown, to preferably allow mouthpiece 112 to removably and sealably connect to tobacco repository 114. Tobacco repository 114 preferably holds at least one volume of tobacco product 126 substantially equivalent to that of an average cigarette to provide maximum enjoyment for a smoker. Tobacco product 126 is preferably provided in granular or shredded form when loosely packed into tobacco repository 114. A loose “pack”, allowing intermittent air space throughout tobacco product 126, is preferable to promote an even burn when using integrated pipe and lighter system 100. Those skilled in the art will appreciate the “tobacco product 126” is merely representative of any substance that may be ignited for the purpose of providing a smoking experience for a smoker and, accordingly, is not limited to tobacco products.

Tobacco repository 114 may also optionally comprise at least one filter 115 depending on user preference. In addition, filter 115 may be positioned in mouthpiece 112 as well. Filter 115 is provided to screen out or remove certain less desirable portions of the smoke that is inhaled by the smoker.

Vented combustion chamber 116 preferably comprises a cylindrically-shaped structure preferably machined from aluminum alloy preferably with at least one female threaded portion in each opposing end. Vented combustion chamber 116 preferably comprises at least one slotted orifice 117, more preferably with four or more slotted orifices 117, as shown. Slotted orifice 117 preferably permits air to enter vented combustion chamber 116 to facilitate substantial combustion of tobacco product 126. Oxygen from the ambient atmosphere substantially freely enters and exits vented combustion chamber 116, providing the necessary ingredients to allow ignition and continuing combustion to take place. Once tobacco product 126 is ignited, air rushes in through slotted orifices 117 to allow tobacco product 126 to continue burning while smoker 110 inhales smoke 128.

Vented combustion chamber 116 also preferably comprises at least one coarse screen 133 to preferably prevent tobacco product 126 from spilling from tobacco repository 114 into vented combustion chamber 116. As with fine gauge screen 130, coarse screen 133 is also held in position using at least one C-Clip 132. Coarse screen 133 preferably comprises a suitable ferrous or non-ferrous material able to withstand temperatures greater than about 1300° C. when tobacco product 126 is being lit. Coarse screen 133 is preferably located nearest tobacco repository 114. Vented combustion chamber 116 is preferably threadably connected to fuel container 120 and vented combustion chamber 116 while integrated pipe and lighter system 100 is in use.

In at least one preferred embodiment of the present invention, vented combustion chamber 116 may further comprise a rotatable damper mechanism. In this preferred embodiment, vented combustion chamber 116 comprises a dual cylinder mechanism for damping or adjusting the rate of flow of air into combustion chamber 116. In this preferred embodiment, combustion chamber 116 comprises at least one rotatable outer vent cylinder and an inner cylinder. Both the outer vent cylinder and the inner cylinder comprise a plurality of slotted orifices 117. Damping, is preferably accomplished by smoker 110 rotating the outer cylinder of vented combustion chamber 116 in relation to the inner cylinder of vented combustion chamber 116, thereby reducing the effective air flow area by and limiting air flow volume through slotted orifices 117. The action of rotating the two sets of slotted orifices 117 in relation to each other can effectively open or close slotted orifices 117 allowing more or less air flow. Moving the slotted orifices 117 so they are not inline to each other will preferably restrict air from entering vented combustion chamber 116, allowing for a slower burn of tobacco product 126 once lit.

Fuel container 120 preferably comprises a cylindrical shape and contains at least one fuel 122, preferably butane, in a fuel reservoir. Fuel 122 can be ignited by a spark preferably created by smoker 110 pressing or otherwise activating ignition switch 118. Ignition switch 118 preferably returns to its original position once smoker 110 releases ignition switch 118 after activation. Fuel container 120 is preferably refillable to make integrated pipe and lighter system 100 more cost-effective to use and maintain. In the most preferred embodiments of the present invention, fuel container 120 also provides at least one flame adjustment mechanism 123, permitting smoker 110 to adjust the length of the flame to various user-preferred flame-heights. Those with ordinary skill in the art will now appreciate that upon reading this specification and by their understanding the art of lighters as described herein, methods of ignition and alternately acceptable fuels will be understood by those knowledgeable in such art.

It should also be noted that the use of threaded components in conjunction with the various components of integrated pipe and lighter system assembly 100 is for purposes of illustration only and other suitable means of securing the various components of integrated pipe and lighter system assembly 100 together may be employed. For example, cam-lock fittings, compression fittings, or pressure fittings may also be used. However, the most preferred embodiments of the present invention will typically employ removably coupled threaded components for ease of manufacturing, assembly, and disassembly for cleaning, loading, re-filling, etc.

Referring now to FIG. 3, an exploded perspective view of integrated pipe and lighter system assembly 100 of FIG. 1, including protective storage tube 324, in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention is shown. Protective storage tube 324 preferably comprises a durable, lightweight material. The most preferred embodiments of protective storage tube 324 are manufactured from a non-ferrous metal, more specifically aluminum alloy because it is lightweight, durable, resistant to corrosion and aesthetically pleasing. Alternately, protective storage tube 324 may comprise suitable ferrous or non-ferrous materials.

Protective storage tube 324 is preferably cylindrical in shape and designed to protect integrated pipe and lighter system 100 from damage derived from handling, and/or storing. Protective storage tube 324 has the preferred appearance of at least one cigar tube, as shown, that preferably comprises smooth edges to conveniently carry in a purse or a pocket of smoker 110. Protective storage tube 324 preferably comprises exactly one cylinder 326, preferably with an integral closed distal end portion, preferably at least one proximal removable lid 328, and preferably at least one foam insert 330. Preferably, foam insert 330 is located in lid 328 to reduce vibration, to substantially prevent damage and wear to mouthpiece 112 and further to provide a snug cushion-like fit for integrated pipe and lighter system 100.

Integrated pipe and lighter system assembly 100 may be preferably sold as at least one kit 340 preferably comprising the following parts: at least one mouthpiece 112; at least one tobacco repository 114; at least one vented combustion chamber 116; at least one fuel container 120; at least one fine gauge screen 130; at least one C-Clip 132; at least one coarse screen 133; exactly one protective storage tube 324; and at least one set of user instructions. Integrated pipe and lighter system assembly 100 may be preferably manufactured and provided for sale in a wide variety of colors and patterns. Upon reading this specification, those with ordinary skill in the art will now appreciate that, under appropriate circumstances, considering such issues as design preference, user preferences, marketing preferences, cost, structural requirements, available materials, technological advances, etc., other kit contents or arrangements such as, for example, with or without tobacco, with or without replacement fuel, with more than one protective storage tube and its comprised parts, including more or less components, customized parts, different color combinations, parts may be sold separately, etc., may suffice.

Referring now to FIG. 2 and FIG. 4, flowchart illustrates a method 400 of use of integrated pipe and lighter system assembly 100 in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention. Preferably, smoker 110 removes integrated pipe and lighter system assembly 100 from protective storage tube 324 (step 410). It should be noted that step 410 is an optional step and may not be implemented in all cases. Other optional steps of method 400 are also illustrated using dotted lines in FIG. 4 so as to distinguish them from the other steps of method 400. Next, user 110 will open tobacco repository 114 (step 415). Step 415 is accomplished by uncoupling tobacco repository 114 from vented combustion chamber 116. Then, user 110 will place tobacco product 126 into tobacco repository 114 (step 420). Next, tobacco repository 114 is closed (step 425) by coupling tobacco repository 114 to vented combustion chamber 116. User 110 activates ignition switch 118 to create ignition of tobacco product 126 (step 430). Tobacco product 126 is then consumed by user 110 (step 435). After step 435, user 110 may optionally decide to consume more tobacco product 126, wherein user 110 may return to step 415, as shown.

The steps comprising 440, 445, 450, and 455 are considered optional steps and may not be implemented in all cases. Step 440 comprises opening tobacco repository 114, followed by step 445 removing any ash byproduct from tobacco repository 114 that may result from consuming tobacco product 126. Step 450 comprises allowing integrated pipe and lighter system assembly 100 to cool and, then, user 110 may return integrated pipe and lighter system assembly 100 to protective storage tube 324 (step 410). It should be noted that the steps described in the method of use can be carried out in many different orders according to user preference. Upon reading this specification, those with ordinary skill in the art will now appreciate that, under appropriate circumstances, considering such issues as design preference, user preferences, marketing preferences, cost, structural requirements, available materials, technological advances, etc., other methods of use arrangements such as, for example, different orders within above-mentioned list, elimination or addition of certain steps, including or excluding certain maintenance steps, etc., may suffice.

From the foregoing description, it should be appreciated that an integrated pipe and lighter system assembly 100 preferred embodiment and a method for manufacturing and use of the herein described integrated pipe and lighter system assembly 100 are provided and present significant benefits that would be apparent to one skilled in the art. Furthermore, it should be appreciated that a vast number of variations in the embodiments exist. Lastly, it should be appreciated that these embodiments are preferred exemplary embodiments only, and are not intended to limit the scope, applicability, or configuration of the invention in any way. Rather, the foregoing detailed description provides those skilled in the art with a convenient framework for implementing a preferred exemplary embodiment of the invention. It being understood that various changes may be made in the function and arrangement of elements described in the exemplary preferred embodiment without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the appended claims.