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Title:
METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR LOWERING A SEAT LID
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2008/030841
Kind Code:
A3
Abstract:
A new and improved method and apparatus for lowering a seat lid is described herein. A toilet flushing apparatus includes a handle, a handle adapter, the adapter operatively connected to the handle, a handle extension, the handle extension operatively connected to the handle adapter, the handle extension, extending downwardly from the handle adapter, and at least two spaced apart grooves, the grooves located in the handle adapter, the handle extension connected to the handle adapter via one of the grooves.

Inventors:
BAILEY, John D. (317 55th Street, Newport News, VA, 23607, US)
Application Number:
US2007/077584
Publication Date:
July 03, 2008
Filing Date:
September 05, 2007
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
BAILEY, John D. (317 55th Street, Newport News, VA, 23607, US)
International Classes:
A47K13/10
Download PDF:
Claims:
I/WE CLAIM:

1. A toilet flushing apparatus characterized by: a handle; a handle adapter, the adapter operatively connected to the handle;

5 a handle extension, the handle extension operatively connected to the handle adapter, the handle extension, extending downwardly from the handle adapter; and, at least two spaced apart grooves, the grooves located in the handle adapter, the handle extension connected to the handle adapter via one of the grooves.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 , wherein the space between the grooves is 0 approximately the thickness of an associated toilet seat.

3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the apparatus is further characterized by at least one sound buffer, the at least one sound buffer being attached to the associated toilet set.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the handle extension has a first end 5 and a second end, the first end being attached to the adapter, wherein the apparatus is further characterized by a flange, the flange being attached to the second end of the handle extension, the flange extending outwardly from the second end of the handle extension.

5. The apparatus of claim 4, wherein the flange extends outwardly from the second end of the handle extension at approximately 90° with respect to the handle

'0 extension.

6. The apparatus of claim 1 , wherein the apparatus is further characterized by: a toilet seat; a toilet seat lid, the toilet seat lid being attached to the toilet seat via a hinge; and, 15 at least one sound buffer, wherein the sound buffer is located on the bottom of the toilet seat.

7. The apparatus of claim 6, wherein the space between the grooves is approximately the thickness of the toilet seat.

8. The apparatus of claim 7, wherein the handle extension has a first end 0 and a second end, the first end being attached to the adapter, wherein the apparatus is further

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characterized by a flange, the flange being attached to the second end of the handle extension, the flange extending outwardly from the second end of the handle extension.

9. The apparatus of claim 8, wherein the flange extends outwardly from the second end of the handle extension at approximately 90° with respect to the handle

5 extension and the handle extension has an adjustable length.

10. The apparatus of claim 5, wherein the handle extension is angled outwardly from the tank.

11. The apparatus of claim 10, wherein the handle extension is angled approximately 1/8 inch outwardly from the tank.

0 12. The apparatus of claim 5, wherein the flange has a center and edges, wherein the flange is wider at the center than the edges.

13. A flushable toilet characterized by: a bowl; a tank, the tank having a front and a back, the tank having an opening in the front, the 5 opening being above an associated water line; a tank lid; a flushing mechanism; a handle; and, a bracket, the bracket movably attached to the tank through the opening, the bracket '0 having an extension that extends into the tank.

14. The toilet of claim 13, wherein the toilet is further characterized by: a toilet seat; a toilet seat lid, the toilet seat lid being attached to the toilet seat via a hinge; and, at least one sound buffer, wherein the sound buffer is located on the bottom of the J5 toilet seat.

15. The toilet seat of claim 14, wherein the toilet is further characterized by: a clip, the clip attached to the tank, the clip having an opening approximately the thickness of the toilet seat lid.

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16. A method for lowering a toilet seat, the method characterized by the steps of: providing a toilet bowl, the toilet seat, a toilet seat lid, a tank, a tank lid, a flushing mechanism, a handle, a handle adapter, the adapter operatively connected to the handle, a 5 handle extension, the handle extension operatively connected to the handle adapter, the handle extension, extending downwardly from the handle adapter, and at least two spaced apart grooves, the grooves located in the handle adapter; inserting the handle extension into one of the at least two grooves; depressing the handle downwardly, thereby moving the handle extension toward the 0 seat and the toilet seat lid; and lowering at least the toilet seat.

17. The method of claim 16, wherein the handle extension is inserted into the groove which allows the handle extension to move between the toilet seat and the toilet seat lid.

5 18. The method of claim 16, wherein the handle extension is inserted into the groove which allows the handle extension to move behind the upraised toilet seat lid, thereby lowering both the toilet seat and the toilet seat lid when the handle is depressed downwardly.

19. The method of claim 16, wherein the method is further characterized :0 by: providing at least one sound buffer, the sound buffer being attached to the toilet seat.

20. The method of claim 16, wherein the handle extension has a first end and a second end, the first end being inserted into the groove, wherein the method is further characterized by:

ϊ5 providing a flange, the flange extending horizontally from the second end of the extension.

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Description:

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR LOWERING A SEAT LID

I. Background of the Invention A. Field of Invention

5 [0001] This application claims priority to a provisional patent application, Serial No.

60/824,524, filed September 5, 2006, entitled METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR LOWERING A SEAT LID. This invention pertains to the art of methods and apparatuses for automatically lowering a seat, and more particularly to lowering the seats of toilets upon flushing.

0 B. Description of the Related Art

[0002] It has been known for some time that ladies that live in a household, or work in a business, with men, and use the same toilet facilities, are usually frustrated by the fact that men often leave the toilet lid and seat up. As much as the men try to accommodate the ladies, they seldom remember. Numerous means have been used to solve this problem.

5 Unfortunately, they require an additional step to operate. Some are cumbersome and others cost much more than the average family is willing to spend.

II. Summary of the Invention

[0003] In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, a toilet flushing apparatus includes a handle, a handle adapter, the adapter operatively connected to the '0 handle, a handle extension, the handle extension operatively connected to the handle adapter, the handle extension, extending downwardly from the handle adapter, and at least two spaced apart grooves, the grooves located in the handle adapter, the handle extension connected to the handle adapter via one of the grooves.

[0004] In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, the space between ^5 the grooves is approximately the thickness of an associated toilet seat.

[0005] In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, the apparatus includes at least one sound buffer, the at least one sound buffer being attached to the associated toilet set.

[0006] In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, the handle i0 extension has a first end and a second end, the first end being attached to the adapter, wherein the apparatus also includes a flange, the flange being attached to the second end of the handle extension, the flange extending outwardly from the second end of the handle extension.

[0007] In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, the flange extends outwardly from the second end of the handle extension at approximately 90° with respect to the handle extension.

[0008] In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, the apparatus includes a toilet seat, a toilet seat lid, the toilet seat lid being attached to the toilet seat via a hinge, and at least one sound buffer, wherein the sound buffer is located on the bottom of the toilet seat.

[0009] In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, the handle extension is angled outwardly from the tank. [0010] In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, the handle extension is angled approximately 1/8 inch outwardly from the tank.

[0011] In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, the flange has a center and edges, wherein the flange is wider at the center than the edges.

[0012] In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, a flushable toilet includes a bowl, a tank, the tank having a front and a back, the tank having an opening in the front, the opening being above an associated water line, a tank lid, a flushing mechanism, a handle, and a bracket, the bracket movably attached to the tank through the opening, the bracket having an extension that extends into the tank.

[0013] In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, the toilet includes a toilet seat, a toilet seat lid, the toilet seat lid being attached to the toilet seat via a hinge, and at least one sound buffer, wherein the sound buffer is located on the bottom of the toilet seat.

[0014] In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, the toilet includes a clip, the clip attached to the tank, the clip having an opening approximately the thickness of the toilet seat lid. [0015] In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, a method for lowering a toilet seat includes providing a toilet bowl, the toilet seat, a toilet seat lid, a tank, a tank lid, a flushing mechanism, a handle, a handle adapter, the adapter operatively connected to the handle, a handle extension, the handle extension operatively connected to the handle adapter, the handle extension, extending downwardly from the handle adapter, and at least two spaced apart grooves, the grooves located in the handle adapter, inserting the handle

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extension into one of the at least two grooves, depressing the handle downwardly, thereby moving the handle extension toward the seat and the toilet seat lid, and lowering at least the toilet seat.

[0016] In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, the handle extension is inserted into the groove which allows the handle extension to move between the toilet seat and the toilet seat lid.

[0017] In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, the handle extension is inserted into the groove which allows the handle extension to move behind the upraised toilet seat lid, thereby lowering both the toilet seat and the toilet seat lid when the handle is depressed downwardly.

[0018] In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, the method further includes providing at least one sound buffer, the sound buffer being attached to the toilet seat.

[0019] The purpose of the invention is to lower the seats of toilets upon flushing. One embodiment is an adapter that attaches to the flushing handles of existing toilets, another is a replacement flushing handle for existing toilets and it will be a complete assembly, essentially using the same interior components in use today. The third is for new toilets that will be built having a totally different means for achieving the same result. The invention has a cushioning material to absorb the sound when the seat hits the ceramic toilet bowl. Instead of making a loud bang, it makes a soft sounding thump. The rubber material is long lasting, easy to clean, and keep clean. The handle adapter and the handle with the complete assembly will be adjustable. Not all toilet seats are positioned the same, and some are thicker than others. For example, a wooden seat is normally thicker than one made of plastic.

[0020] Another embodiment uses the current handles in use today for flushing. However, the tank will be built with a small hole above the water line and behind the lid and seat. A bracket is placed through the hole and held in place by a tight and flexible fitting. The outside of the bracket will be manufactured with safety issues in mind. When the toilet is flushed the lever arm will move the bracket inside the tank upward, forcing the other end on the outside of the tank downward and against the lid, moving it down along with the seat. It can also be designed in such a way as to lower the seat only, leaving the lid upright.

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[0021] Still other benefits and advantages of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art to which it pertains upon a reading and understanding of the following detailed specification.

III. Brief Description of the Drawings [0022] The invention may take physical form in certain parts and arrangement of parts, at least one embodiment of which will be described in detail in this specification and illustrated in the accompanying drawings which form a part hereof and wherein: [0023] FIGURE IA is a plan view of the device showing a handle adapter; [0024] FIGURE IB is a bottom view of the handle adapter; [0025] FIGURE 1C is a plan view of the handle extension;

[0026] FIGURE 2 A is a side view of the device showing the handle adapter; [0027] FIGURE 2B is a front view of FIGURE 2A;

[0028] FIGURE 3 A is a side view of the device showing the handle adapter with a sound buffer; [0029] FIGURE 3B is a front view of FIGURE 3 A;

[0030] FIGURE 4A is a plan view of the device showing an adjustable handle extension;

[0031] FIGURE 4B is a side view of FIGURE 4A; [0032] FIGURE 5 A is a plan view of a handle attachment; [0033] FIGURE 5B is a plan view of the toilet seat;

[0034] FIGURE 6 is a plan view of the handle in the flushed position; [0035] FIGURE 7 is a plan view of the handle in the resting position; [0036] FIGURE 8 is a plan view of the handle mechanism; [0037] FIGURE 9A is a plan view of the device showing another embodiment for lowering the seat; and,

[0038] FIGURE 9B is a plan view of the device showing another embodiment for lowering the seat, with sound buffers.

IV. Description of the Invention

[0039] Referring now to the drawings wherein the showings are for purposes of illustrating at least one embodiment of the invention only and not for purposes of limiting the

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same, FIGURES IA, IB, and 1C show a toilet 10, a toilet tank 14, toilet tank lid 12, a toilet tank handle 18 (shown in the non-flushed position 20 and the flushed position 22), a toilet seat 16, a handle adapter 30, a handle extension 40 (shown in the non-flushed position 24 and the flushed position 26), and a sound buffer 28. The handle adapter 30 can be attached to an

5 existing toilet handle 18, and the extension 40 is attached to the adapter 30, such that when the toilet handle 18 is rotated to the flushed position 22 to flush the toilet 10, the extension 40 moves between the toilet lid 36 and the seat 16, thereby lowering the seat 16. The extension 40 extends downwardly from the handle 18. The length of the extension 40 is not intended as a limitation to this invention, although the extension 40 has to be long enough so that when

0 the handle 18 is in the flushed position 22, the extension 40 is long enough to come in contact with either the toilet lid 36 or the toilet seat 16. In one embodiment of the invention, the extension 40 is positioned so that when the handle 18 is depressed downwardly, the extension 40 rotates towards the toilet lid 36 and toilet seat 16 and goes between the lid 36 and the seat 16 and lowers the seat 16. In another embodiment, the extension 40 is positioned so that

5 when the handle 18 is depressed downwardly, the extension 40 rotates behind the toilet lid 36 and lowers both the lid 36 and the seat 16. In one embodiment of the invention, as seen in FIGURE IA, the toilet seat 16 has a sound buffer 28 attached to the seat 16, so that when the seat 16 is lowered by the extension 40, the sound is muffled. The sound buffer 28 can be any device, made of any material that will limit the force of the impact of the seat 16 being

,0 lowered. Although the FIGURES only show one sound buffer 28 on the seat 16, it is to be understood that any number of sound buffers 16 could be used, as long as chosen using sound engineering judgment. As shown in FIGURE IB, the adapter 30 can have openings 32 to allow for different positions for the extension 40, as mentioned above.

[0040] FIGURES 2 A and 2B show the inside of the toilet tank 14. In this

'.5 embodiment, the tank 14 is designed with a hole above the water level 34 to accommodate a bracket 48 that shifts when it is struck by an interior lever 46 when the toilet 10 is flushed. This embodiment will typically be used for newly manufactured toilets or retrofitted toilets. This movement causes the lid 36 and seat 16 to move down. When the handle 18 is depressed, the lever 46 is raised, and the lever 46 makes contact with the bracket 48, and the

SO bracket 48 moves outward toward the seat lid 36 and makes contact with the lid 36 with

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sufficient force such that the lid 36 and seat 16 move down to a closed position. The bracket 48 can be of any design such that the movement of the lever 46 against the portion of the bracket 48 within the tank 14, will cause the bracket 48 to make contact with the lid 36 with sufficient force such that the lid 36 and seat 16 move down to a closed position. In one embodiment, the lever 46 contacts the bracket 48 and the bracket moves downward to strike the lid 36. As can be seen in FIGURES 9A and 9B, which is only one embodiment of the invention, the lever 46 comes in contact with the angled portion 50 of the bracket 48 when the toilet 10 is flushed. The lever 46 pushes against the angled portion 50 and moves the bracket 48 into the lid 36. The lid 36 can be designed to stay in the upright position using a clip 38 on the seat 16. FIGURES 3 A and 3B show another embodiment of FIGURES 2 A and 2B, wherein a sound buffer 28 is attached to the toilet seat 16 in order to minimize the noise of the seat 16 closing.

[0041] FIGURES 4A and 4B show a replacement extension 40 and handle 18. The adjustable handle extension 40 fits between the toilet lid 36 and seat 16. The extension 40 will lower the seat 16, leaving the lid 36 in the upright position. The handle extension 40 can be adjusted forward and away from the tank 14 to fit between the lid 36 and the seat 16 upon flushing.

[0042] FIGURES 5 A and 5B show the toilet seat 16 with a handle attachment. In this embodiment, a square washer type bracket 52 fits between the flushing handle 18 and the toilet tank 14. The bottom part of the bracket 52 is an adjustable extension that turns when the toilet 10 is flushed. This in rum pushes the lid 36, seat 16, or both forward and in the down position. A sound buffer 28 is attached to the bottom front of the toilet seat 16 reduces the sound when the toilet seat 16 hits the toilet bowl.

[0043] FIGURES 6 and 7 show another embodiment of the present invention. In this embodiment, the extension 40 is attached to the pivot portion of the flushing handle 18. The extension 40 has a flange 42 at the bottom that pushes the toilet seat 16 down when the flushing handle 18 is depressed. The invention can be designed for the extension 40 to move between the lid 36 and the seat 16 or between the tank 14 and the lid 36, so that either just the seat 16 or both the seat 16 and the lid 36 can be lowered upon flushing. In this embodiment, when the handle 18 is depressed downwardly to flush the toilet 10, the extension 40 rotates

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toward the lid 36 and seat 16, and the flange 42 either passes between the tank 14 and the lid 36 or between the lid 36 and the seat 16, such that either the lid 36 and seat 16 or just the seat 16 are pushed into the closed position. FIGURE 8 shows the entire flushing handle mechanism 18, including the grooves 44. The grooves 44 allow for the extension 40 to be placed in different positions depending on whether the user wished to close the lid 36 and the seat 16 or just the seat 16. In one embodiment, the extension 40 is straight, and in another embodiment, the extension 40 is angled outward from the tank 14, which in one embodiment would be 1/8". The flange 42 at the bottom of the extension 40, in one embodiment, is wider at the center than on the edges. In one embodiment, this width is approximately one inch. Although the above embodiments are shown in reference to a toilet 10, it is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to toilet seats.

[0044] At least one embodiment has been described, hereinabove. It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that the above methods may incorporate changes and modifications without departing from the general scope of this invention. It is intended to include all such modifications and alterations in so far as they come within the scope of the appended claims or the equivalents thereof.

[0045] Having thus described the invention, it is now claimed:

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