Lancaster, PA asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for Pennsylvania

Q: Hi, What exactly is patented on this smoker station? What feature? A little confused on the specifics.

https://patents.justia.com/patent/7971745

1 Lawyer Answer
Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Patents Lawyer
  • Chapel Hill, NC

A: The starting point is the claims. This patent has one independent claim and several dependent claims. Then you use the rest of the patent as a dictionary to inform your understanding of the words in the claims.

1. A disposal unit for discarded smoking products comprising:

a tubular extension extending from a wide base, wherein the tubular extension is divided into tubular sections;

an upper tubular section has an interior partition to form a closed-bottom receptacle for the discarded smoking products;

one or more inlets for the receptacle provided by one or more closed end slots, wherein a corresponding tubular side wall of the upper tubular section remains unshaped and in its original form to comprise a periphery of each of the one or more closed end slots;

a removable cap covers an open end of the upper tubular section; and

the cap and tubular sections are detachable from one another for emptying the receptacle.

You may get just a little hint of what was deemed special by reading the file history. The claims were allowed very quickly so there won't be much argument on the record about what is special about this arrangement of components.

See Public PAIR for access to the PDFs for this patent application. https://portal.uspto.gov/pair/PublicPair

If you want to consult with a patent attorney, you may get a clearer understanding how something you propose to sell would be clear of this patent. See my web page on the topic of designing around an issued patent. https://www.flynniplaw.com/services/legal-services/freedom-to-operate/design-around-guidance

I hope this helps.

Kevin E Flynn

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