Title:
Multi-Purpose Toy With Interactive Elements
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
As one implementation example, an apparatus is described which comprises a base, the base comprising a plurality of wheels which enable the base to be moveable. The apparatus further comprises a frame, wherein the frame is removably engaged with the base, a handle engaged with a top portion or a back side of the frame, an interactive element engaged with at least a front side of the frame, and an attachment means engaged with the back side of the frame, thereby enabling the frame to be engaged with a different apparatus.



Inventors:
Johnson, Sybil Michelle (Moorpark, CA, US)
Application Number:
14/049104
Publication Date:
04/09/2015
Filing Date:
10/08/2013
Assignee:
JOHNSON SYBIL MICHELLE
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
446/397
International Classes:
A47D13/04; A63H5/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
VANAMAN, FRANK BENNETT
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Sybil Michelle Johnson (Moorpark, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An apparatus comprising: a base, wherein the base comprises: a plurality of wheels, thereby enabling the base to be moveable; a frame, wherein said frame is removably engaged with the base; a handle engaged with a top portion or a back side of said frame; an interactive element engaged with at least a front side of said frame; and an attachment means engaged with the back side of said frame, thereby enabling said frame to be engaged with a different apparatus.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a neck engaged with said frame, wherein the neck comprises a locking mechanism for locking the neck in at least one position.

3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the plurality of wheels are made of a hard plastic and comprise a ribbed or nubbed pattern.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said frame comprises legs adapted to engage with the base, and wherein the base comprises openings to enable the legs to be removably attached.

5. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a battery for powering at least a portion of the interactive elements.

6. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a sound box.

7. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein at least one of the interactive elements is a whammy bar.

8. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein at least one of the interactive elements is adapted to imitate a fret.

9. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein at least one of the interactive elements is adapted to imitate a musical instrument string.

10. The apparatus of claim 6, wherein the sound box produces a sound upon activation of at least one interactive element.

11. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the interactive element is adapted to emit a light.

12. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the interactive element is a push pad, a slide, a knob, or a switch.

13. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a toy engaged with said frame.

14. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the locking mechanism is a snap lock mechanism.

15. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the locking mechanism is a spring lock mechanism.

16. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the attachment means comprises: a plurality of raised knobs; and a strap disposed between the raised knobs, thereby forming an attachment band.

17. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the different apparatus is a crib apparatus for hanging toys.

18. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein said frame and the neck form the shape of a guitar.

19. An apparatus comprising: a base, wherein the base comprises: a plurality of wheels, thereby enabling the base to be moveable; a frame, wherein said frame is removably engaged with the base; a handle engaged with a top portion or a back side of said frame; an interactive element engaged with at least a front side of said frame; an attachment means engaged with the back side of said frame, thereby enabling said frame to be engaged with a different apparatus; and a neck engaged with said frame, wherein said frame and the neck form the shape of a guitar and wherein the neck comprises a locking mechanism for locking the neck in at least one position.

20. An apparatus comprising: a base means for supporting a frame, wherein the base means comprises a plurality of wheels, thereby enabling the base means to be moveable; a frame, wherein said frame is removably engaged with the base means; a handle means for portability engaged with a top portion or a back side of said frame; an interactive means for interacting with the apparatus, engaged with at least a front side of said frame; and an attachment means engaged with the back side of said frame, thereby enabling said frame to be engaged with a different apparatus.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not applicable.

RELATED CO-PENDING U.S. PATENT APPLICATIONS

Not applicable.

FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not applicable.

REFERENCE TO SEQUENCE LISTING, A TABLE, OR A COMPUTER LISTING APPENDIX

Not applicable.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE

A portion of the disclosure of this patent document contains material that is subject to copyright protection. The copyright owner has no objection to the facsimile reproduction by anyone of the patent document or patent disclosure as it appears in the Patent and Trademark Office, patent file or records, but otherwise reserves all copyright rights whatsoever.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

One or more embodiments of the invention generally relate to children's developmental aids. More particularly, the invention relates to a convertible activity walker.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The following background information may present examples of specific aspects of the prior art (e.g., without limitation, approaches, facts, or common wisdom) that, while expected to be helpful to further educate the reader as to additional aspects of the prior art, is not to be construed as limiting the present invention, or any embodiments thereof, to anything stated or implied therein or inferred thereupon. It is believed that parents typically acquire many devices to aid in the development and entertainment of their children. For example, without limitation, some parents may obtain walkers to help their children learn to walk and may also obtain toys to entertain and stimulate their children such as, but not limited to toys that light up and make sound. One may expect that, due to the objectives of typical baby walkers, most baby walkers become useless after the child has grown. Furthermore, the purchase of many single purpose toys may become expensive to parents, and may also create clutter in the home.

By way of educational background, an aspect of the prior art generally useful to be aware of is that there are some currently available musical baby walkers. However, it is believed that these walkers typically may not be removed from their bases for additional activities and long term use. Also, some current baby activity walkers with attached toys may rattle or make noise, however, it is believed that these activity walkers typically do not provide lights and sounds that may captivate a child and keep them entertained and stimulated. In addition, it is believed that there isn't enough space under many current activity walkers for a baby to slide his legs under to allow him to sit up close and play with the activity center. This inability to get close to the activity center may result in the baby losing interest in the toy. Furthermore, some activity walkers may be large and/or cumbersome, some may have metal rods that attach to the wheels, which may be dangerous to the child, and some walkers may not have a detachable activity toy. Moreover, it is believed that there is currently a lack of available toy versions of musical instruments that are safe for very young children to use for the purpose of introducing a child to instruments.

In view of the foregoing, it is clear that these traditional techniques are not perfect and leave room for more optimal approaches.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention is illustrated by way of example, and not by way of limitation, in the figures of the accompanying drawings and in which like reference numerals refer to similar elements and in which:

FIGS. 1A through 1C illustrate an exemplary multipurpose activity walker, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 1A is a front perspective view. FIG. 1B is a rear perspective view, and FIG. 1C is a rear perspective view of the walker with a neck in retracted position.

Unless otherwise indicated illustrations in the figures are not necessarily drawn to scale.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF SOME EMBODIMENTS

The present invention is best understood by reference to the detailed figures and description set forth herein.

Embodiments of the invention are discussed below with reference to the Figures. However, those skilled in the art will readily appreciate that the detailed description given herein with respect to these figures is for explanatory purposes as the invention extends beyond these limited embodiments. For example, it should be appreciated that those skilled in the art will, in light of the teachings of the present invention, recognize a multiplicity of alternate and suitable approaches, depending upon the needs of the particular application, to implement the functionality of any given detail described herein, beyond the particular implementation choices in the following embodiments described and shown. That is, there are numerous modifications and variations of the invention that are too numerous to be listed but that all fit within the scope of the invention. Also, singular words should be read as plural and vice versa and masculine as feminine and vice versa, where appropriate, and alternative embodiments do not necessarily imply that the two are mutually exclusive.

It is to be further understood that the present invention is not limited to the particular methodology, compounds, materials, manufacturing techniques, uses, and applications, described herein, as these may vary. It is also to be understood that the terminology used herein is used for the purpose of describing particular embodiments only, and is not intended to limit the scope of the present invention. It must be noted that as used herein and in the appended claims, the singular forms “a,” “an,” and “the” include the plural reference unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. Thus, for example, a reference to “an element” is a reference to one or more elements and includes equivalents thereof known to those skilled in the art. Similarly, for another example, a reference to “a step” or “a means” is a reference to one or more steps or means and may include sub-steps and subservient means. All conjunctions used are to be understood in the most inclusive sense possible. Thus, the word “or” should be understood as having the definition of a logical “or” rather than that of a logical “exclusive or” unless the context clearly necessitates otherwise. Structures described herein are to be understood also to refer to functional equivalents of such structures. Language that may be construed to express approximation should be so understood unless the context clearly dictates otherwise.

Unless defined otherwise, all technical and scientific terms used herein have the same meanings as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which this invention belongs. Preferred methods, techniques, devices, and materials are described, although any methods, techniques, devices, or materials similar or equivalent to those described herein may be used in the practice or testing of the present invention. Structures described herein are to be understood also to refer to functional equivalents of such structures. The present invention will now be described in detail with reference to embodiments thereof as illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

From reading the present disclosure, other variations and modifications will be apparent to persons skilled in the art. Such variations and modifications may involve equivalent and other features which are already known in the art, and which may be used instead of or in addition to features already described herein.

Although Claims have been formulated in this Application to particular combinations of features, it should be understood that the scope of the disclosure of the present invention also includes any novel feature or any novel combination of features disclosed herein either explicitly or implicitly or any generalization thereof, whether or not it relates to the same invention as presently claimed in any Claim and whether or not it mitigates any or all of the same technical problems as does the present invention.

Features which are described in the context of separate embodiments may also be provided in combination in a single embodiment. Conversely, various features which are, for brevity, described in the context of a single embodiment, may also be provided separately or in any suitable subcombination. The Applicants hereby give notice that new Claims may be formulated to such features and/or combinations of such features during the prosecution of the present Application or of any further Application derived therefrom.

References to “one embodiment,” “an embodiment,” “example embodiment,” “various embodiments,” etc., may indicate that the embodiment(s) of the invention so described may include a particular feature, structure, or characteristic, but not every embodiment necessarily includes the particular feature, structure, or characteristic. Further, repeated use of the phrase “in one embodiment,” or “in an exemplary embodiment,” do not necessarily refer to the same embodiment, although they may.

Headings provided herein are for convenience and are not to be taken as limiting the disclosure in any way.

The enumerated listing of items does not imply that any or all of the items are mutually exclusive, unless expressly specified otherwise.

The terms “a”, “an” and “the” mean “one or more”, unless expressly specified otherwise.

Devices or system modules that are in at least general communication with each other need not be in continuous communication with each other, unless expressly specified otherwise. In addition, devices or system modules that are in at least general communication with each other may communicate directly or indirectly through one or more intermediaries.

A description of an embodiment with several components in communication with each other does not imply that all such components are required. On the contrary a variety of optional components are described to illustrate the wide variety of possible embodiments of the present invention.

As is well known to those skilled in the art many careful considerations and compromises typically must be made when designing for the optimal manufacture of a commercial implementation any system, and in particular, the embodiments of the present invention. A commercial implementation in accordance with the spirit and teachings of the present invention may configured according to the needs of the particular application, whereby any aspect(s), feature(s), function(s), result(s), component(s), approach(es), or step(s) of the teachings related to any described embodiment of the present invention may be suitably omitted, included, adapted, mixed and matched, or improved and/or optimized by those skilled in the art, using their average skills and known techniques, to achieve the desired implementation that addresses the needs of the particular application.

It is to be understood that any exact measurements/dimensions or particular construction materials indicated herein are solely provided as examples of suitable configurations and are not intended to be limiting in any way. Depending on the needs of the particular application, those skilled in the art will readily recognize, in light of the following teachings, a multiplicity of suitable alternative implementation details.

One embodiment of the present invention may provide a multipurpose children's entertainment device and developmental aid in the form of a musical instrument that may convert into a musical activity baby walker. In some embodiments the device may convert from a hanging crib toy to an activity walker and then may be removed from the base to be used as a hand carried musical instrument toy. This may enable the device to be used to entertain a baby or toddler for years.

FIGS. 1A through 1C illustrate an exemplary multipurpose activity walker, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 1A is a front perspective view. FIG. 1B is a rear perspective view, and FIG. 1C is a rear perspective view of the walker with a neck in retracted position. In the present embodiment, the activity walker comprises a frame 1 in the shape of an instrument, for example, without limitation, a guitar. Frame 1 may be able to stand upright with the use of base legs 9 that may be easily attached to or detachable from fame 1. Frame 1 and base 9 may be made of various different materials such as, but not limited to, molded plastic, other types of plastic, wood, foam, rubber, metal, etc. In the present embodiment, four wheels 14 may be attached to base legs 9 with the front wheels 14 being larger than the back wheels, which may provide safer weight distribution when a child is walking with the activity walker. Base legs 9 may also be wider in the front than in the back to accommodate larger wheels 14 and to further aid in weight distribution. Wheels 14 may be made of hard plastic and may be of a ribbed or nubbed pattern so that the activity walker can be used indoors or outdoors and on virtually any type of flooring. Those skilled in the art will readily recognize, in light of and in accordance with the teachings of the present invention, that some alternate embodiments may comprise fewer or more wheels and that the size, design, and material of the wheels may vary. For example, without limitation, some embodiments may comprise smooth, rubber wheels, and other embodiments may comprise three wheels in a triangular pattern. In the present embodiment, base legs 9 comprise square openings 10a into which pegs 10b on frame 1 may be inserted so that frame 1 may be attached and secured to base legs 9 and function as a walker. It is contemplated that the openings and pegs in some alternate embodiments may be implemented in various different shapes such as, but not limited to circular or oval shapes, etc. Furthermore, some embodiments may comprise locking means to further secure the frame to the base such as, but not limited to, pins, set screws, caps that thread or snap onto the pegs, wing nuts, etc. In some embodiments it is contemplated that a multiplicity of suitable types of instruments may be designed with base legs to be used as activity walkers such as, but not limited to, a piano, a ukulele, a tuba, a saxophone, a drum, ect. Alternatively, in some embodiments, virtually any type of instrument may be removably attached to a device with wheels in order to be used as an activity walker.

In the present embodiment, a neck 2 of guitar shaped frame 1 may extend upward when in the upright locked position, as illustrated by way of example in FIGS. 1A and 1B. The end of neck 2 may be formed into a shape that resembles a star and may comprise triangular push pads 6 that may be made of transparent colored plastic to typically allow for lights to shine through to aid in teaching colors. In addition a sound box with speaker holes 3 may be located in the center of the star near push pads 6 to typically allow for the activity walker to play sound or music. The center portion of neck 2 may comprise push pads 8 that imitate frets or fret boards on an actual guitar. Push pads 8 may also be made of a transparent, colored plastic material so that lights can shine through. The pushing of push pads 8 may also cause the activity walker to make sounds, which may correlate to musical notes such as, but not limited to, do, re, mi, etc. The bottom portion of neck 2 near the center of frame 1 may comprise three narrow push pads 7 that may imitate the strings of an actual guitar. Push pads 7 may be made with lights and bright colors and may cause the activity walker to play chords, music, or songs when manipulated. Push pads 6, 7, and 8 are typically intended to be pushed. In some embodiments the pads may be manipulated in various different ways for example, without limitation, moved from side to side or up and down, slid back and forth, or twisted to encourage the use of fine motor skills. Those skilled in the art will readily recognize, in light of and in accordance with the present teachings, that in some alternate embodiments the end of the neck may be formed into various different shapes such as, but not limited to, shapes similar to actual guitar necks or as necks that end in different shapes such as, but not limited to circles, ovals, triangles, etc. In addition, it is contemplated that some alternate embodiments may comprise more or fewer push pads or push pads made in a multiplicity of suitable shapes, colors, materials, etc. Furthermore, some embodiments may be implemented without lights and/or sound.

In the present embodiment, a locking mechanism may comprise a male piece 4 and a female piece 5 that join together and lock into place. This locking mechanism may be a “snap” type locking mechanism that works like puzzle pieces fitting into place or legos being snapped together. A snap lock will be easy for a child to operate. The locking mechanism may be covered with a flexible material such as, but not limited to, rubber or silicone to generally prevent injuries or pinching to a child's fingers. When neck 2 is in the desired position, the male piece 4 and the female piece 5 will snap into place by use of very small raised knobs on the male piece 4 that will connect to the receiving female piece 5, allowing neck 2 to lock into place at an upright position or a downward position to be out of view.) It is contemplated that a multiplicity of suitable types of locking mechanisms may be safe and secure enough when in the upright locked position or in the collapsed lock position to be used in some alternate embodiments. Other embodiments may be implemented with various different means for enabling the neck of the frame to collapse. For example, without limitation, in one such embodiment the neck may be movably attached to the frame so that the neck may slide down and out of view, either into the body of the frame or on the outside of the frame for use as a walker or may slide up for use as a play guitar. In this embodiment, a portion part of the neck may comprise a locking mechanism that may be squeezed to unlock the neck so that the neck may slide up or down into the desired position. In an alternative embodiment, the locking mechanism may operate with hinges or other similar means to allow folding of the neck 2. In an alternative embodiment, the locking mechanism may be spring loaded.

In the present embodiment, at the top of frame 1, on each side of neck 2, two small handles 12 may be attached, typically for the purpose of a child to hold on to when using the device as a walker. Handles 12 may be made of various different materials including, without limitation, plastic or metal and may be covered with grips made of a soft or flexible material such as, but not limited to, rubber or foam for a more comfortable grip. Handles 12 may be made in a variety of shapes and forms that are suitable to function as handles. Some alternate embodiments may be implemented without handles or handles in various different locations, for example, without limitation, on the back of the frame. In the present embodiment, four small raised knobs 11 may be attached to or molded into the back of frame 1 to which straps 15 may be attached. Straps 15 may be used to attach the activity walker to an object such as, but not limited to, a crib, a playpen, a bed, etc. Neck 2 may be extended or collapsed when the walker is attached to an object using straps 15. Straps 15 may be made of a multiplicity of suitable materials including, without limitation, plastic, rubber, silicone, nylon, hook and loop material, etc. Straps 15 may be attached or detached from frame 1. It is contemplated that some embodiments may comprise various different means for attaching the frame 1 to objects such as, but not limited to, bolts, clamps, belts, ties, or clips, and some embodiments may be implemented without such means. Referring to FIG. 1B, in the present embodiment, the lights and sound may be powered by batteries that may be located under a battery cover 17 on the back of frame 1. Battery cover 17 may be secured with a small screw 18 to generally prevent the child from accessing the batteries. Various different types of means may be used to secure battery cover 17 to frame 1 including, without limitation, clips, sliding panels, keys, etc.

Referring to FIG. 1A, in the present embodiment, a small lever or whammy bar 13 may be included on frame 1. The child may manipulate whammy bar 13 up or down to cause the activity walker to make a sound. Whammy bar 13 typically makes a more pitchy sound for the purpose of imitating a true guitar; in alternate embodiments, the whammy bar may play music or make other types of sounds. Other embodiments may be implemented without a whammy bar. In the present embodiment, a cylinder toy 16 may also be included, without limitation, on the front of frame 1. Cylinder toy 16 may be secured to frame 1 in a manner that generally enables cylinder toy 1 to roll when the child passes his fingers or hands across cylinder toy 16. Cylinder toy 16 may be transparent and may comprise different color beads inside, that when rolled may tumble around and make noise. Those skilled in the art will readily recognize, in light of and in accordance with the teachings of the present invention, that the toys illustrated by way of example in the present embodiment may be repositioned, removed, or replaced by other toys that can be manipulated by the child such as, but not limited to, spinning objects, mirrors, knobs, cranks, or music players, including, without limitation, mp3 players, CD players, or radios. The activity walker may comprise a multiplicity of suitable mechanisms for controlling the functions of the device including, without limitation, a volume control, a power switch, a control for the lights, etc.

In typical use of the present invention, the activity walker may be used for different purposes throughout multiple stages of a child's development, and may be enjoyed for years after infancy. For example, without limitation, the activity walker may be used as a guitar shaped activity toy for an infant that may be hung in a crib. To attach the activity walker to the crib, a parent may place the walker against the railing of the crib with the front of frame 1 facing into the crib and then use straps 15 to the railing by securing one end of each strap 15 to a raised knob 11 on each side of the walker. Then the parent may drape straps 15 over the railing and secure the loose ends of straps 15 to the remaining knobs 11 on each side of frame 1. This generally secures the activity walker to the crib for the child to play with. In this application, neck 2 may or may not be folded to the rear of frame 1. When attached to the crib or other object, the child may be stimulated and entertained by touching, manipulating, and playing with the various push pads 6, 7, and 8 and other toys located on the front of frame 1 to cause the activity walker to light up and make sound. Once the child has grown enough to begin to walk, the parent may remove the activity walker from the crib and attach base legs 9 to frame 1 so that the larger wheels 14 are located at the front of the walker so that the activity walker may be used to enhance balance, coordination, and gross motor skills as the child is learning to walk. Base legs 9 may attach by aligning pegs 10b on frame 1 with openings 10b on base legs 9 and pushing down to secure frame 1 in place. Neck 2 is typically locked in the collapsed position when the child is using the device as a walker so that the child's view is generally not obstructed while walking The child may grab onto handles 12 on the top of frame 1 as he walks. The child may also use the activity walker in this position as an activity gym by sitting in front of the walker and sliding his legs underneath the walker. The design of the walker typically provides the child with enough leg space for an up-front and up close play time. The activity walker may also be removed from base legs 9 so that the child may play with the activity walker as a toy guitar and may carry the guitar anywhere. To do this, the male piece 4 and the female piece 5 may be snapped or locked together which will secure the mechanism in an upright position. In this position, all press/touch pads 6, 7, and 8 can be pressed to make musical tunes and sounds and/or to light up in different colors. In the present embodiment, the width of frame 1 is such that the guitar is not too thick or bulky for the child to carry while maintaining the integrity and feel of a guitar. This multi-purpose functionality of the activity walker generally does not restrict the child to one position for example, without limitation, laying, sitting, or standing as the shape and height of the walker may typically accommodate any type of play position. In addition, the activity walker may save the consumer money by combining several toys into one product and by being functional and entertaining for the child for years.

Some embodiments of the present invention may provide a musical instrument toy that can last for years and can be used for more than one purpose. These embodiments may introduce very young children to the basics of the instrument, for example, without limitation, a guitar such as, but not limited to, the parts of a guitar. These embodiments focus on musical instruments because it is believed that a child may receive many learning benefits from instruments. For example, without limitation, some research has found that music and musical experiences may support the formation of important brain connections that are established in the first years of life. Music is also commonly a social experience since the creation of music is often a team effort and may encourage peer interactions. In the present embodiment, the functions of the activity walker may stimulate multiple senses, for example, without limitation, sight, hearing, and touch. The activity walker typically produces bright lights and sounds, which may provide psychological benefits to a child of any age including, without limitation, cause and effect, elements of surprise, creative play, curiosity, etc. In addition, the activity walker may provide hands on activities such as, but not limited to, push pads 6, 7, and 8 that may encourage hand and finger movement to make specific sounds or to combine sounds. This may aid in teaching differences in pitch, volume, and tone to the child in addition to helping to develop fine motor skills. It is believed that the sounds created by pushing the different pads may encourage thinking skills and that the different bright colors may allow the child to become aware of the differences in colors and shapes. In alternative embodiments, the activities may be performed, without limitation, with switches, levers, slides, and rotating objects.

One alternative embodiment of the present invention may provide an activity walker that may be able to collapse flat for easy storage. A variation of this embodiment may be an activity gym that sits on top of removable base legs with wheels that has the ability to collapse. In some embodiments, a cord may be attached to the activity walker so that the walker may be used as a pull activity toy when collapsed.

Other embodiments may be implemented as a base that may fit an existing toy guitar so that the guitar may be converted into an activity walker.

Those skilled in the art will readily recognize, in light of and in accordance with the teachings of the present invention, that some embodiments of the present invention may comprise a multiplicity of suitable additional or alternative features. For example, without limitation, lights that may flash in different patterns, textured surfaces for added grip and interest, different musical themes, accessories such as, but not limited to carrying straps or pedal attachments, etc. Some embodiments may be decorated in multiple bright colors or may comprise patterns, pictures, drawings or other designs. Some alternate embodiments may comprise means that enable users to change the type of music or sounds that are played such as, but not limited to, slide in cartridges or a USB or other connection to a computer for installing new music software or for downloading music from the Internet.

All the features disclosed in this specification, including any accompanying abstract and drawings, may be replaced by alternative features serving the same, equivalent or similar purpose, unless expressly stated otherwise. Thus, unless expressly stated otherwise, each feature disclosed is one example only of a generic series of equivalent or similar features.

It is noted that according to USA law 35 USC §112(1), all claims must be supported by sufficient disclosure in the present patent specification, and any material known to those skilled in the art need not be explicitly disclosed. However, 35 USC §112(6) requires that structures corresponding to functional limitations interpreted under 35 USC §112(6) must be explicitly disclosed in the patent specification. Moreover, the USPTO's Examination policy of initially treating and searching prior art under the broadest interpretation of a “mean for” claim limitation implies that the broadest initial search on 112(6) functional limitation would have to be conducted to support a legally valid Examination on that USPTO policy for broadest interpretation of “mean for” claims. Accordingly, the USPTO will have discovered a multiplicity of prior art documents including disclosure of specific structures and elements which are suitable to act as corresponding structures to satisfy all functional limitations in the below claims that are interpreted under 35 USC §112(6) when such corresponding structures are not explicitly disclosed in the foregoing patent specification. Therefore, for any invention element(s)/structure(s) corresponding to functional claim limitation(s), in the below claims interpreted under 35 USC §112(6), which is/are not explicitly disclosed in the foregoing patent specification, yet do exist in the patent and/or non-patent documents found during the course of USPTO searching, Applicant(s) incorporate all such functionally corresponding structures and related enabling material herein by reference for the purpose of providing explicit structures that implement the functional means claimed. Applicant(s) request(s) that fact finders during any claims construction proceedings and/or examination of patent allowability properly identify and incorporate only the portions of each of these documents discovered during the broadest interpretation search of 35 USC §112(6) limitation, which exist in at least one of the patent and/or non-patent documents found during the course of normal USPTO searching and or supplied to the USPTO during prosecution. Applicant(s) also incorporate by reference the bibliographic citation information to identify all such documents comprising functionally corresponding structures and related enabling material as listed in any PTO Form-892 or likewise any information disclosure statements (IDS) entered into the present patent application by the USPTO or Applicant(s) or any 3rd parties. Applicant(s) also reserve its right to later amend the present application to explicitly include citations to such documents and/or explicitly include the functionally corresponding structures which were incorporate by reference above.

Thus, for any invention element(s)/structure(s) corresponding to functional claim limitation(s), in the below claims, that are interpreted under 35 USC §112(6), which is/are not explicitly disclosed in the foregoing patent specification, Applicant(s) have explicitly prescribed which documents and material to include the otherwise missing disclosure, and have prescribed exactly which portions of such patent and/or non-patent documents should be incorporated by such reference for the purpose of satisfying the disclosure requirements of 35 USC §112(6). Applicant(s) note that all the identified documents above which are incorporated by reference to satisfy 35 USC §112(6) necessarily have a filing and/or publication date prior to that of the instant application, and thus are valid prior documents to incorporated by reference in the instant application.

Having fully described at least one embodiment of the present invention, other equivalent or alternative methods of implementing a convertible activity walker according to the present invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art. Various aspects of the invention have been described above by way of illustration, and the specific embodiments disclosed are not intended to limit the invention to the particular forms disclosed. The particular implementation of the convertible activity walker may vary depending upon the particular context or application. By way of example, and not limitation, the convertible activity walkers described in the foregoing were principally directed to implementations with baby walker base legs; however, similar techniques may instead be applied to walkers that may comprise different types of bases in addition to walker base legs such as, but not limited to, an easel type base to enable a child to play with the activity walker while remaining stationary or a scooter base for an older child, which implementations of the present invention are contemplated as within the scope of the present invention. The invention is thus to cover all modifications, equivalents, and alternatives falling within the spirit and scope of the following claims. It is to be further understood that not all of the disclosed embodiments in the foregoing specification will necessarily satisfy or achieve each of the objects, advantages, or improvements described in the foregoing specification.

Claim elements and steps herein may have been numbered and/or lettered solely as an aid in readability and understanding. Any such numbering and lettering in itself is not intended to and should not be taken to indicate the ordering of elements and/or steps in the claims.

The corresponding structures, materials, acts, and equivalents of all means or step plus function elements in the claims below are intended to include any structure, material, or act for performing the function in combination with other claimed elements as specifically claimed.

The Abstract is provided to comply with 37 C.F.R. Section 1.72(b) requiring an abstract that will allow the reader to ascertain the nature and gist of the technical disclosure. It is submitted with the understanding that it will not be used to limit or interpret the scope or meaning of the claims. The following claims are hereby incorporated into the detailed description, with each claim standing on its own as a separate embodiment.