Title:
Cleaning Apparatuses for Electronic Devices
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Provided herein are cleaning apparatuses for electronic devices, such as computers, smart devices, laptops and cameras. The cleaning apparatuses comprise cleaning members having, for example, a cleaning pad and/or brush or other cleaning member and a container or housing on or in which the cleaning member is contained and/or stored. The cleaning apparatuses each comprise a mount to removably secure the apparatus to the electronic device. The mounts may comprise a hot shoe mount, a strap slide, a clip mount, or a slottable member configured for a port or slot on the device.



Inventors:
Xu, Ye (Sugar Land, TX, US)
Application Number:
14/257117
Publication Date:
04/16/2015
Filing Date:
04/21/2014
Assignee:
XU YE
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
15/114, 15/146, 15/210.1
International Classes:
A47L13/12; A46B15/00; A47L13/17; A47L13/42; A47L13/512
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
JENNINGS, MICHAEL DEANGILO
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BENJAMIN A. ADLER (HOUSTON, TX, US)
Claims:
1. An apparatus for cleaning an electronic device, comprising: at least one cleaning member comprising a cleaning assembly having a platform with a lower surface attached to the cleaning member and an upper surface with anchors disposed thereon or formed therefrom and a holder with a slotted surface configured to removably receive the anchors therein; a container configured to receive the cleaning member therein; a hot shoe mount disposed on the container; an exterior cover having dimensions configured to cover the cleaning member when disposed in the container.

2. (canceled)

3. (canceled)

4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the platform with cleaning member attached thereto is a replaceable component of the cleaning assembly.

5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the cleaning member comprises a cleaning pad, a brush or a combination thereof.

6. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the cleaning member further comprises a dry cleaning compound impregnated therein.

7. (canceled)

8. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the container is a housing having an open interior such that one cleaning member comprises a retractable brush disposed within the open interior and another cleaning member comprises a cleaning pad secured to a first exterior surface of the housing and the mount comprises a slottable member disposed on a second exterior surface of the housing.

9. The apparatus of claim 8, wherein the housing comprises a longitudinal open track, said retractable brush having a rod, with a slide button attached thereto, affixed to the brush, said rod extending longitudinally within the open interior such that said slide button is slidable along the open track.

10. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the electronic device is a computer, a laptop device, a tablet, a smart phone, or a digital camera.

11. A cleaning apparatus for a screen on an electronic device, comprising: a cleaning assembly; a container comprising an open body configured to removably secure the cleaning assembly therein; a hot shoe mount attached to a lower outer surface of the container; and a cover comprising an open body configured to removably cover the cleaning assembly when secured within the container.

12. The cleaning apparatus of claim 11, wherein the cleaning assembly comprises: a platform with an upper surface having a pair of flanged clips disposed thereon or formed therefrom; a cleaning pad affixed to a lower surface of the platform; and a holder with a lower surface having a slot longitudinally disposed therethrough, said flanged clips removably anchored within the slot.

13. The cleaning apparatus of claim 12, wherein the platform further comprises a pair of finger grips formed on the upper surface.

14. The cleaning apparatus of claim 12, wherein the platform with cleaning pad attached thereto comprises a replaceable component of the cleaning assembly.

15. The cleaning apparatus of claim 12, said cleaning pad further comprising a dry cleaning compound impregnated therein.

16. The cleaning apparatus of claim 11, wherein the open container body comprises: an upper open portion with inner dimensions that are greater than the outer dimensions of the platform with cleaning pad affixed thereto but smaller than the outer dimensions of the holder such that a lower rim of the holder rests on the container body; and a lower portion disposed around the container body forming a rim with outer dimensions corresponding to outer dimensions of the cover such that a lower rim of the cover rests on the rim formed by the lower portion of the container body.

17. The cleaning apparatus of claim 11, wherein the mount is a hot shoe mount having an upper surface attached to the container and a lower surface configured to slidably engage a T-slot and T-track comprising a hot shoe on a camera.

18. The cleaning apparatus of claim 11, wherein the mount is a strap slide having an upper surface attached to the container, an open lower surface, two side surfaces with slide openings therethrough and a slide crosspiece attached between a back and front surface in parallel with the openings, said strap slide configured to threadably receive a strap therethrough.

19. The cleaning apparatus of claim 11, wherein the mount is a clip mount comprising: a mount base forming a T-slot attached to the container; a clip base having flanged side portions inserted within the T-slot and a middle portion raised from the side portions, said middle portion comprising a pair of slots disposed through a top and bottom thereof; and a pair of clip arms each having a flanged end and a clip end, said flanged ends inserted through the clip base slots and configured to removably clip to a vent louver or slat on a dashboard.

20. A cleaning apparatus for a computer or smart device, comprising: a housing having an open interior and an open slide track disposed longitudinally along an exterior surface thereof; a first cleaning member retractably disposed within the housing through an open end thereof; a second cleaning member attached to the exterior surface of the housing; and a mount attached to the exterior surface of the housing.

21. The cleaning apparatus of claim 20, wherein the first cleaning member is a brush comprising a rod, having a slide button thereon, affixed to the brush, said rod extending longitudinally within the housing open interior such that said slide button is disposed on and slidable along the slide track, said brush retractable or extendable with movement of the slide button.

22. The cleaning apparatus of claim 20, wherein the second cleaning member is a cleaning pad comprising a dry cleaning compound impregnated therein.

23. The cleaning apparatus of claim 20, wherein the second cleaning member is replaceable and is removably attached to the exterior surface.

24. The cleaning apparatus of claim 20, wherein the mount is a slottable member configured to engage a port or slot on the computer or smart device.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This non-provisional application claims benefit of provisional application U.S. Ser. No. 61/891,447, filed Oct. 16, 2013, the entirety of which is hereby incorporated by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to the fields of computers, digital cameras and other electronic devices. More specifically, the present invention relates to improved devices for cleaning the display screens and/or keyboards on electronic devices.

2. Description of the Related Art

Computer and display screens are used constantly by individuals whether on cellular phones, computer monitors, or computer tablets or as comprising digital cameras, etc. Such screens are becoming more frequently “touch” screens that require the user to place one or more fingers on the surface of the screen. Such frequent touching often leaves residue such as fingerprints and other debris behind on the surface of the screen, which can sometimes etch into the glass surface if left uncleaned for too long. This may cause a permanent imperfection in the screen. Screen cleaners provide a way for removing many types of grime and debris from the surface of the screen.

Many screen cleaners are available currently. Among them, most have large, bulky profiles, and must be used with two hands. One problem with prior art screen cleaners is that most are liquids and cannot be stored in a pocket or carrying case without the worry of spilling the liquid. This is not only inconvenient for a user on the go, but makes it difficult to store the item inconspicuously. For example, the SideKick™ and LaptopPro™ cleaners by Lenspen® are more than 15 mm in thickness, making these products obtrusive in one's pocket or carrying case. Furthermore, both of the aforementioned cleaners have caps that must be removed before the apparatus is used.

Moreover, in prior art screen cleaners, the user is forced to replenish the cleaning pad by removing or attaching a cap with two hands. This can be extremely inconvenient in many situations. For example, if one needed to clean a display screen while engaged in another activity, for example, walking, giving a presentation, or combat, they would have to 1) put down the display screen, 2) remove the cap with both hands, 3) safely secure the cap in another location, 4) pick up the display screen, 5) clean the screen, 6) put down the screen again, 7) find the cap for the cleaner, 8) replace the cap with both hands, and 9) retrieve the display screen.

Another problem with the prior art is that liquid cleaners frequently include solvents and other agents. Frequently, these cleaning materials are sold as kits, and include the liquid cleaning agent and a cleaning cloth or tissue or a cleaning cloth infused with a cleaning agent. There are several issues with these types of cleaners. One is that often times the solvents utilized in liquid cleaners can remove protective coatings from the screen. It would be undesirable to remove anti-reflective coatings or oleophobic coatings that repel fingerprints. A second issue is the limited lifespan of the wet cleaning agent. When infused with a wet cleaning agent, a cleaning tissue can be used only until the agent has dried, and then must be discarded. This presents a wasteful solution to cleaning screens. A third issue is the abrasiveness of the paper from which many screen-cleaning tissues are made.

There is a recognized need for an improved device for cleaning computers and computer screens. After reviewing the prior art, what is needed is a keyboard and display screen cleaner storable on the particular device comprising the same. Thus, a screen cleaner that has a slim profile and/or small footprint and that can be used with one hand, is non-abrasive and long-lasting, while causing no damage to the surface coatings of the screen, as well as being designed in a way that is efficient in profile and utility, would provide distinct and desirable advantages over the prior art.

The prior art is deficient in devices for cleaning the display screens and/or keyboards on electronic devices that are portable and storable on the device itself. Particularly, the prior art is deficient in cleaning apparatuses that comprise means for mounting the cleaning apparatuses onto a component of the electronic device comprising or carrier thereof or otherwise configured to be removably affixed thereto. The present invention fulfills this longstanding need and desire in the art.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to an apparatus for cleaning an electronic device. The apparatus comprises at least one cleaning member, a container configured to receive the cleaning member therein and a mount disposed on the container. The present invention is directed to a related apparatus further comprising an exterior cover having dimensions configured to cover the cleaning member when disposed in the container.

The present invention also is directed to a cleaning apparatus for a screen on an electronic device. The cleaning apparatus comprises a cleaning assembly and a container having an open body configured to removably secure the cleaning assembly therein. A mount is attached to a lower outer surface of the container. A cover comprises an open body configured to removably cover the cleaning assembly when secured within the container.

The present invention is directed further to a cleaning apparatus for a computer or smart device. The cleaning apparatus comprises a housing having an open interior and an open slide track disposed longitudinally along an exterior surface thereof. A first cleaning member is retractably disposed within the housing through an open end thereof and a second cleaning member is attached to the exterior surface of the housing. A mount is attached to the exterior surface of the housing.

Other and further aspects, features, and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following description of the presently preferred embodiments of the invention. These embodiments are given for the purpose of disclosure.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

So that the matter in which the above-recited features, advantages and objects of the invention, as well as others which will become clear, are attained and can be understood in detail, more particular descriptions and certain embodiments of the invention briefly summarized above are illustrated in the appended drawings. These drawings form a part of the specification. It is to be noted, however, that the appended drawings illustrate preferred embodiments of the invention and therefore are not to be considered limiting in their scope.

FIG. 1A is a perspective view of the computer cleaner with the keyboard brush extended.

FIG. 1B is a perspective view of the computer cleaner with the keyboard brush retracted.

FIG. 2A is an exploded view of the cleaning apparatus comprising a hot shoe mount.

FIG. 2B is an assembled view of the cleaning apparatus of FIG. 2A.

FIG. 3 is an exploded view of the cleaning apparatus comprising a slot configured to receive a strap.

FIG. 4A is a partial exploded view of the cleaning apparatus showing a clip mount.

FIG. 4B is a perspective view of the assembled cleaning apparatus with the clip mount.

FIG. 5A is a schematic generally illustrating the mount configured for a USB port.

FIG. 5B depicts the cleaning apparatus with USB compatible mount connected to a laptop computer

FIG. 6A depicts the assembled cleaning apparatus mounted on the hot shoe of a digital camera.

FIG. 6B illustrates a user cleaning the screen of a digital camera with the cleaning pad of the apparatus.

FIG. 7A depicts the assembled cleaning apparatus clipped onto a vent louver on the dashboard of a car.

FIG. 7B illustrates a user cleaning the screen of a car navigation system with the cleaning pad of the apparatus.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In one embodiment of the present invention there is provided an apparatus for cleaning an electronic device, comprising at least one cleaning member; a container configured to receive the cleaning member therein; and a mount disposed on the container. Further to this embodiment the apparatus comprises an exterior cover having dimensions configured to cover the cleaning member when disposed in the container. In an aspect of both embodiments, the cleaning member may comprise a cleaning assembly having a platform with a lower surface attached to the cleaning member and an upper surface with anchors disposed thereon or formed therefrom and a holder with a slotted surface configured to removably receive the anchors therein. In this aspect the platform with cleaning member attached thereto may be a replaceable component of the cleaning assembly.

In another aspect the container may be a housing having an open interior such that one cleaning member comprises a retractable brush disposed within the open interior and another cleaning member comprises a cleaning pad secured to a first exterior surface of the housing and the mount comprises a slottable member disposed on a second exterior surface of the housing. In this aspect the housing may comprise a longitudinal open track, where the retractable brush has a rod, with a slide button attached thereto, affixed to the brush and where the rod extends longitudinally within the open interior such that the slide button is slidable along the open track.

Also, in both embodiments and aspects thereof the cleaning member may comprise a cleaning pad, a brush or a combination thereof. Further to this, the cleaning member may comprise a dry cleaning compound impregnated therein. In addition the mount may comprise a hot shoe mount, a strap slide, a clip mount or a member slottable into a port on the electronic device. Furthermore, the electronic device may be a computer, a laptop device, a tablet, a smart phone, or a digital camera.

In another embodiment there is provided a cleaning apparatus for a screen on an electronic device, comprising a cleaning assembly; a container comprising an open body configured to removably secure the cleaning assembly therein; a mount attached to a lower outer surface of the container; and a cover comprising an open body configured to removably cover the cleaning assembly when secured within the container.

In this embodiment the cleaning assembly comprises a platform with an upper surface having a pair of flanged clips disposed thereon or formed therefrom; a cleaning pad affixed to a lower surface of the platform; and a holder with a lower surface having a slot longitudinally disposed therethrough, where the flanged clips are removably anchored within the slot. Further to this, the platform may comprise a pair of finger grips formed on the upper surface. Also, the platform with cleaning pad attached thereto may comprise a replaceable component of the cleaning assembly. Further still the cleaning pad may comprise a dry cleaning compound impregnated therein.

Also in this embodiment the open container body may comprise an upper open portion with inner dimensions that are greater than the outer dimensions of the platform with cleaning pad affixed thereto but smaller than the outer dimensions of the holder such that a lower rim of the holder rests on the container body; and a lower portion disposed around the container body forming a rim with outer dimensions corresponding to outer dimensions of the cover such that a lower rim of the cover rests on the rim formed by the lower portion of the container body.

In an aspect of this embodiment the mount may be a hot shoe mount having an upper surface attached to the container and a lower surface configured to slidably engage a T-slot and T-track comprising a hot shoe on a camera.

In another aspect the mount may be a strap slide having an upper surface attached to the container, an open lower surface, two side surfaces with slide openings therethrough and a slide crosspiece attached between a back and front surface in parallel with the openings, where the strap slide is configured to threadably receive a strap therethrough.

In yet another aspect the mount may be a clip mount comprising a mount base forming a T-slot attached to the container; a clip base having flanged side portions inserted within the T-slot and a middle portion raised from the side portions, said middle portion comprising a pair of slots disposed through a top and bottom thereof; and a pair of clip arms each having a flanged end and a clip end, said flanged ends inserted through the clip base slots and configured to removably clip to a vent louver or slat on a dashboard.

In yet another embodiment there is provided a cleaning apparatus for a computer or smart device, comprising a housing having an open interior and an open slide track disposed longitudinally along an exterior surface thereof; a first cleaning member retractably disposed within the housing through an open end thereof; a second cleaning member attached to the exterior surface of the housing; and a mount attached to the exterior surface of the housing.

In this embodiment the first cleaning member may be a brush comprising a rod, having a slide button thereon, affixed to the brush, where the rod extends longitudinally within the housing open interior such that the slide button is disposed on and slidable along the slide track, where the brush is retractable or extendable with movement of the slide button. Also, the second cleaning member may be a cleaning pad comprising a dry cleaning compound impregnated therein. In addition the second cleaning member may be replaceable and is removably attached to the exterior surface. Furthermore, the mount may be a slottable member configured to engage a port or slot on the computer or smart device.

Provided herein are cleaning apparatuses or clean device assemblies for electronic apparatuses comprising means for cleaning the exterior portions, such as a screen or keyboard, of the electronic device and means for mounting the cleaning apparatus on the electronic device and means for storing the cleaning means. Representative electronic devices may be, but are not limited to, a laptop computer or a tablet, a camera screen or lens, a smart device or phone, an automobile navigation or GPS system.

The cleaning apparatus comprises an assembly having at least a cleaning member and a mount to quickly and releasably mount the apparatus on or near to the screen and/or keyboard that is desired to be cleaned. Generally, the cleaning member may comprise a cleaning pad and/or brush disposed on or in a housing or container. The cleaning apparatus comprises a means for mounting the cleaning apparatus and a means for storing the cleaning member therein or thereon. Alternatively, the housing may comprise the means on or in which the cleaning pad and brush are mounted and stored. The cleaning member may be removable from and replaceable in the cleaner assembly.

The cleaning apparatus comprises a mount with a configuration compatible with the electronic device or carrier on which it is to be mounted. For example, the mount may comprise a member slidable into an SD slot, a USB port or charging port or other port or slot on a computer or smart device. In an alternative configuration, the mount may be configured to be compatible with a hot shoe mount on a camera. In another configuration, the mount may comprise a strap slide for carrying and/or storing the cleaning apparatus on a device strap, bag strap or strap on other carriers. In yet another configuration, the mount may comprise a clip for securing the cleaning apparatus to a louver or slat such as found on an automobile vent.

The cleaning apparatus comprises a container or housing for holding a cleaning pad and/or brush. The container may have an open body into which the cleaning member or cleaning assembly is placed. Alternatively, the housing may comprise a track and button slide configuration useful to slide a brush out of and back into the housing. The housing also may be configured to support a cleaning pad on the exterior thereof in addition to the interior brush.

Particularly, one advantage of the cleaning apparatus is that a dry cleaning compound is utilized that is long-lasting and self-replenishing. This is an improvement over cleaning systems that utilize wet cleaning agents. The dry cleaning compounds of the present invention have a longer shelf life than corresponding wet cleaning agents. The dry-cleaning compound is impregnated in the cleaning member or cleaning pad and comprises a solvent-free, organic compound that is harmless to coatings such as anti-reflective coatings and oleophobic coatings. Another advantage of the cleaning apparatus is that the pad utilized as the cleaning member comprises a soft, natural material that will not scratch or otherwise affect the finish of the screen.

Thus, the present invention provides and describes methods for removably mounting or securing the cleaning apparatus to the electronic device and methods for using the cleaning apparatus on various screens. An advantage of the cleaning apparatus is its small footprint and/or slim profile. The cleaning apparatus can thus be carried inconspicuously on the electronic device or its carrier because of the dry nature of the cleaning member.

In one method the cleaning apparatus comprises the housing with slidable brush and cleaning pad disposed thereon. To use this apparatus one simply one-handedly (1) slides out the brush (2) cleans the keyboard and/or display screen with the extended brush and/or cleaning pad, and (3) retracts the brush, all while maintaining a grip on the display screen with the other hand.

In another method, the cleaning apparatus comprises a mount and cleaning pad container in which a cleaning assembly having at least cleaning pad and cleaning pad holder and, optionally a cover disposed over the cleaning assembly. The cleaning apparatus is mounted on or near to the electronic device to be cleaned. To use this cleaning apparatus, one simply one-handedly (1) lifts the cleaning assembly out of the container, (2) cleans the screen with the cleaning pad and (3) replaces the cleaning assembly in the container. Both methods enable a much quicker, cleaner, and effective means for cleaning a screen/keyboard of an electronic device.

As described below, the invention provides a number of advantages and uses, however such advantages and uses are not limited by such description. Embodiments of the present invention are better illustrated with reference to the Figure(s), however, such reference is not meant to limit the present invention in any fashion. The embodiments and variations described in detail herein are to be interpreted by the appended claims and equivalents thereof.

As used herein, the term, “a” or “an” may mean one or more. As used herein in the claim(s), when used in conjunction with the word “comprising”, the words “a” or “an” may mean one or more than one. As used herein “another” or “other” may mean at least a second or more of the same or different claim element or components thereof. The terms “comprise” and “comprising” are used in the inclusive, open sense, meaning that additional elements may be included.

As used herein, the term “or” in the claims refers to “and/or” unless explicitly indicated to refer to alternatives only or the alternatives are mutually exclusive, although the disclosure supports a definition that refers to only alternatives and “and/or”.

As used herein, the term “about” refers to a numeric value, including, for example, whole numbers, fractions, and percentages, whether or not explicitly indicated. The term “about” generally refers to a range of numerical values (e.g., +/−5-10% of the recited value) that one of ordinary skill in the art would consider equivalent to the recited value (e.g., having the same function or result). In some instances, the term “about” may include numerical values that are rounded to the nearest significant figure.

FIGS. 1A-1B depict a representative computer cleaning apparatus of the present invention. FIG. 1A shows the cleaning apparatus 100 with a first cleaning member, for example, a brush, 120, such as for a keyboard, extended. The cleaning apparatus comprises a housing 105 having an open interior with open end 105a and a closed end 105b. An open linear slide track, groove or slot 110 is disposed longitudinally along and formed through a top exterior surface 105c of the housing.

A second cleaning member, for example, a cleaning pad, 115 for a screen is attached along a first exterior side surface 105d of the housing. The cleaning pad comprises a material suitable for cleaning a computer screen as described herein. Optionally, the cleaning pad may be a removable, replaceable pad configured to removably affix to the housing, for example, via Velcro® or other adhesive means. Alternatively, the housing side 105d may comprise a flanged track or T-slot (similar to the hot shoe mount in FIGS. 2 and 5A) and the cleaning pad comprises a lower insert portion and an upper cleaning portion.

The brush 120 comprises a bristle portion 122 having a plurality of bristles and a bristle support portion comprising a base 126. The non-brushing ends of the bristles are securely affixed to the outer surface of the base 126 which has a diameter less than a diameter of the open end 105a. A rod 128 is securely affixed to the base 126 and slidably resides within the housing in parallel beneath the linear slide track (see FIG. 1B). A slide button 130 comprises a distal end of the rod 128 and extends through the open linear slide track in a slidable configuration thereon. The upper surface of the slide button is level or flush with the upper surface 105c of the housing. When the slide button is slid by the user to the proximal end of the linear slide track, the rod is pushed forward which extends the brush from the open end. The length of the rod is substantially equal to the length of the linear track 128 on the housing so that only the brush extends from the open end when the slide is at the proximal end of the linear track.

A slottable member 135 protrudes outwardly from or is formed from a second exterior side surface 105e on the housing at about a right angle. The slottable member has a substantially square shape, for example, with an outer edge 135a configured with a truncated corner or, alternatively, with a square corners, enabling insertion into, for example, the SD slot or USB port in a computer. The cleaning apparatus is removably engageable with a port or slot on a computer. The slottable member is alignable with the slot or port in the computer or other smart device (see FIG. 5B).

With continued reference to FIG. 1A, FIG. 1B illustrates the disposition of the brush 120 within the housing 105. When the slide button 130 is slid by the user back along the slide track 110 to the closed end on surface 105b of the housing 105, the movement of the rod 128 is moved toward the closed end and causes the brush 120 to be retracted within the housing. The front surface of the bristle portion 122 retracts to the edge of the open surface 105a which, while protecting the bristles, enables them to be smoothly extended from the housing when the slide button 130 is slid along the slide track 110.

FIG. 2A illustrates the components of another cleaning apparatus configured for cleaning a screen on a digital camera. The cleaning apparatus 200 comprises the general components of an exterior cover 210, such as a decorative cover, a cleaning pad holder 220, a cleaning pad platform 230 with a cleaning pad 235, a cleaning pad container 250, and a mount 260. The cleaning pad platform with the cleaning pad are connectable to the cleaning pad holder 220 to form a cleaning assembly 240.

The decorative cover 210 has an open body configuration with an open lower surface 210a and has inner width W1 and length L1 and depth D1 dimensions sufficient to cover the cleaning pad holder when the cleaning assembly 240 is disposed within the cleaning pad container 250. The cleaning pad holder 220 has a lower surface 220a (see FIG. 3) comprising a slot 222 disposed lengthwise through the lower platform surface. The cleaning pad holder has outer dimensions smaller than the decorative cover 210 inner dimensions W1, L1 and D1, so that the cover can easily, but securely, cover the cleaning pad holder when the cleaning apparatus 200 is in an assembled configuration. It is to be noted that the decorative cover 210 need not be used with the device. As described herein, the cleaning pad holder can function to cover the cleaning pad comprising the cleaning assembly 240 when it is disposed within the cleaning pad container 250 in the assembled cleaning apparatus 200. Moreover, the cleaning pad holder is gripped by the user when cleaning the screen with the cleaning pad.

The cleaning pad platform 230 comprises an upper surface 230a having a means, e.g., anchors, for anchoring the cleaning pad platform to the cleaning pad holder 220. For example, the upper surface may comprise a pair of flexible, flanged slot clips 232a,b extending from the upper surface and longitudinally disposed thereon in alignment with the edges of the slot 222. In connecting the cleaning pad platform 230 to the holder the slot clips flex sufficiently to allow the flanged or lipped ends 233a,b thereof to extend into the interior of the cleaning pad holder through the slot 222 and to secure the cleaning pad platform to the holder. The cleaning pad 235 is securely attached or affixed to the lower surface 230b of the cleaning pad platform. The cleaning pad platform with cleaning pad attached has a footprint that is no greater than and, preferably smaller, than the inner dimensions of the cleaning pad holder.

The combination of the cleaning pad platform with cleaning pad is a replaceable component of the cleaning apparatus. The cleaning pad platform comprises a pair of indents or finger grips 234a,b formed from the sides 230c,d of the upper surface 230a (see FIG. 3 for indent 234a and side 230c). These enable a user to easily grip the cleaning pad platform and cleaning pad combination and disengage it from the cleaning pad holder 220. A new cleaning pad platform and cleaning pad combination can be secured to the cleaning pad holder as described herein.

The cleaning pad container 250 has an open body configuration with an open upper portion 250a that has inner width W2 and length L2 and depth D2 dimensions sufficient to receive and removably receive and secure the cleaning pad 235 therein and a lower portion 250b formed around and extending from the lower end of the upper portion 250a. Thus, the lower portion 250b has dimensions corresponding to or similar to the decorative cover 210 such that the rim surrounding the open lower surface 210a of the decorative cover rests on the upper rim of the lower portion of the cleaning pad container 250 when the device 200 is in an assembled configuration. When disposed within the cleaning pad container, the lower surface 220a of the cleaning pad holder 220 rests on the rim of the open upper portion 250a.

A mount 260 is attached or affixed to the lower outer surface 250c of the cleaning pad container 250. The mount is configured to removably engage with a hot shoe 410 on a digital camera (see FIG. 5A) and has dimensions compatible with the standard defined physical dimensions of the hot shoe. Thus, the mount has a T-shape that is removably insertable into the T-slot opening of the hot shoe and is slidable along the T-track thereof such that the cleaning apparatus 200 is secured to the digital camera.

With continued reference to FIG. 2A, FIG. 2B illustrates the assembled cleaning apparatus 200. When assembled, the rim around the lower open surface of the decorative cover 210 rests on the rim of the lower portion of the cleaning pad holder 250 along 270. The mount 260 is easily insertable into the hot shoe of the digital camera. The assembled device is small, compact and has a footprint not greatly exceeding that of the hot shoe.

With continued reference to FIG. 2A, FIG. 3 depicts a cleaning apparatus with an alternate means for mounting the device. The device 300 comprises the decorative cover 210, the cleaning pad holder 220, the cleaning pad platform 230 with cleaning pad 235, the cleaning assembly 240, and the cleaning pad container 250 of cleaning apparatus 200. The disposition of the slot 222 on the lower surface 220a of the cleaning pad holder and its alignment with the slot clips 232a,b disposed on the upper surface 230a of the cleaning pad platform 230 is illustrated. Moreover, the indent 234a in opposition to the indent 234b on the cleaning pad platform is illustrated.

The mount body 310 is attached or affixed to the lower outer surface 250c of the cleaning pad container 250 and comprises a strap slide. A strap 320 is threaded through a first slide opening 310a in the mount body, under a slide crosspiece at 310b and out a second slide opening 310c. Thus the assembled cleaning apparatus may be carried on a camera strap, a bag strap, or other strap as is convenient for a user. The position of the cleaning apparatus may be adjusted thereon by sliding the strap through the strap slide as is known in the art. A user may easily remove the cleaning assembly 240 while the cleaning pad container 250 and mount 310 remain secured to the strap.

With continued reference to FIGS. 2A-2B, FIG. 4A depicts yet another mount for the cleaning apparatus. The components of a clip mount 410 comprise a mount base 415, a clip base 420 and a pair of flanged clip arms 425a,b. The mount base has a T-slot configuration similar to a hot shoe configuration. The lower surface of the mount base is attached to or affixed to the lower surface of the cleaning pad container 250 such that the clip base 420 is inserted into the T-slot opening and supported thereby. The clip base comprises flanged side portions 420a,b and a raised middle portion 420c such that when inserted into the T-slot of the mount base, the raised portion forms a cavity with the inner back surface of the mount base. The middle portion 420c comprises slots 422a,b disposed longitudinally across the top and bottom thereof. The flanges 426a,b comprising the clip arms 425a,b are configured to slot through the middle portion slots to secure the clip arms to the clip base.

FIG. 4B depicts an assembled cleaning apparatus comprising the mount clip. The assembled cleaning apparatus 400 shows the decorative cover 210 disposed to rest on the rim of the cleaning pad container 250 at 270. The clip base 420 is inserted into the mount base 410 and the flange ends 226a,b (see FIG. 4A) are slotted into the clip base slots 422a,b. The clip arms 425a,b are sized and shaped such that flexible clipping ends 428a,b of the arms are in contact at 430 when the clip mount 410 is assembled. The clipping ends are flexible and can be removably clipped to, for example, a vent louver on an automobile dashboard or to other slat-like object to securely clip the cleaning apparatus thereto.

With continued reference to FIGS. 1A-1B, FIG. 5A illustrates a cleaning apparatus mount for a laptop computer. The cleaning apparatus 500 generally shows the housing 105 with the brush retracted through the open surface 105a, via slide button 130, and the cleaning pad 115 disposed on the surface 105d. The slottable member 135 is configured and shaped at least similarly to a USB or SD connector where the outer edge 135a is squared off as is known in the art to removably engage with a USB port or SD slot and thereby secure the cleaning apparatus.

FIG. 5B depicts a cleaning apparatus slotted into a laptop computer. The outer edge 135a of the slottable member 135 is inserted into the port or slot 560 until the surface 105d of the housing 105 rests along the side 550a of the computer. For use, the cleaning apparatus is slid out from the port or slot and the slide is moved along the linear track until the brush is extended, if the brush is needed for cleaning, for example, the keyboard. The cleaning pad is immediately available upon removal of the cleaning apparatus. Each of these steps can be accomplished quickly and with only one hand. The slottable member keeps the cleaning apparatus securely engaged with the computer and can be stored and/or transported with the computer.

With continued reference to FIGS. 2A-2B, FIG. 6A depicts an assembled cleaning apparatus mounted on a hot shoe. A digital camera 600 comprises a hot shoe 610 and a digital screen 620. The assembled cleaning apparatus 200 is mounted onto the hot shoe. The mount 260 is aligned with the T-slot opening 615 on the hot shoe and inserted and slid along the T-track, such that the cleaning pad container 250 comprising the covered 210 cleaning assembly is supported on the camera. The footprint of the assembled cleaning apparatus 250 does not extend beyond the camera surface 600a upon which the hot shoe 610 is disposed. The cleaning apparatus 250 can be stored and/or transported with the camera 600. FIG. 6B illustrates a user 650 cleaning the screen 620 with the cleaning pad 235. The cleaning assembly 240 (see FIG. 5A) is easily one-handedly removed by the user from the cleaning pad container 250 while the container remains secured to the digital camera 500.

With continued reference to FIGS. 4A-4B, FIG. 7A depicts an assembled cleaning apparatus clipped to a dashboard. The cleaning apparatus 400 is securely, removably clipped by the clip mount 410 (see FIGS. 4A-4B) to a vent louver 710 comprising an automobile dashboard 700. The decorative cover 210 covering the cleaning assembly extends from the louver so that it is easily, one-handedly grasped by a user. FIG. 7B illustrates a user 750 cleaning a screen 715, for example, comprising a navigation or GPS system. As with the hot shoe mounted cleaning apparatus 250, the cleaning assembly 240 is easily one-handedly removed by the user from the cleaning pad container 250 while the container remains secured to the louver 710. The cleaning apparatus 400 thus can remain within reach of a driver or of a passenger whether the vent louvers are opened or closed or can be easily removed from the dashboard.

The present invention is well adapted to attain the ends and advantages mentioned as well as those that are inherent therein. The particular embodiments disclosed above are illustrative only, as the present invention may be modified and practiced in different but equivalent manners apparent to those skilled in the art having the benefit of the teachings herein. Furthermore, no limitations are intended to the details of construction or design herein shown, other than as described in the claims below. It is therefore evident that the particular illustrative embodiments disclosed above may be altered or modified and all such variations are considered within the scope and spirit of the present invention. Also, the terms in the claims have their plain, ordinary meaning unless otherwise explicitly and clearly defined by the patentee.