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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
SCENTED FAN
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2008/112545
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A portable scented fan with a flat base such that the fan can stand without additional support and a ventilated housing covering the fan blades for safety. The fan blades are made of porous foam impregnated with a scented material. Operation of the portable scented fan causes scented air to blow into the surrounding air space to freshen the air.

Inventors:
WOLF, Thomas, H. (2115 Hybernia Dirve, Highland Park, IL, 94785, US)
Application Number:
US2008/056216
Publication Date:
September 18, 2008
Filing Date:
March 07, 2008
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
BATH SOLUTIONS, INC. (1120 Thorndale Avenue, Bensenville, IL, 60106-1144, US)
WOLF, Thomas, H. (2115 Hybernia Dirve, Highland Park, IL, 94785, US)
International Classes:
F04D25/08; B05B3/02; F04D29/34; F04D29/38; F04D29/70
Foreign References:
US6109874A2000-08-29
DE20320023U12004-04-29
US2595406A1952-05-06
US5775876A1998-07-07
DE29817599U11998-11-26
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MEHLER, Raymond, M. (Cook, Alex Mcfarron, Manzo, Cummings & Mehler, Lt,d,200 West Adams Street, Suite 285, Chicago IL, 60606, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:

CLAIMS

1. A portable scented fan for use as an air freshener comprising: a ventilated housing; a flat base; a body containing a compartment for batteries and a motor having a drive shaft; and a fan blade assembly mounted to the shaft, said fan blade assembly including a rotatable hub carrying at least one fan blade member impregnated with a scented material.

2. The portable scented fan of Claim 1, wherein the fan blade member includes multiple blades of porous foam.

3. The portable scented fan of Claim 1, wherein the scented material is aromatic oil.

4. The portable scented fan of Claim 1, wherein the fan blade assembly is removable from the body by overcoming a force fit between the shaft and the rotatable hub through the application of digital removal force.

5. The portable scented fan of Claim 4, wherein the fan blade assembly is replaceable onto the rotatable hub by digital pushing of the hub while a bore thereof is in alignment with the shaft.

6. The portable scented fan of Claim 1, wherein the fan blade assembly is comprised of a hub base including a mounting flange with a hole therethrough and at least one curved ramp projecting from the mounting flange, a hub cap comprising a shaft and at least one curved aperture with a contour substantially matching the contour of the curved

ramp, and at least one blade member sandwiched between said curved ramp of the hub base and said curved aperture of the hub cap.

7. The portable scented fan of Claim 1, wherein the ventilated housing is comprised of a front ventilated housing portion that Is separable from a rear ventilated housing portion.

8. A portable scented fan for use as an air freshener comprising:

a ventilated housing; a flat base; a body containing a compartment for batteries and a motor having a drive shaft; and a fan blade assembly mounted to the shaft, said fan blade assembly including a rotatable hub carrying at least one fan blade member impregnated with a scented material, said blade member is made of porous foam and the scented material is aromatic oil, the fan blade assembly is removable from the body by overcoming a force fit between the shaft and the rotatable hub through the application of digital removal force, and the fan blade assembly is replaceable onto the rotatable hub by digital pushing of the hub while a bore thereof is in alignment with the shaft .

9. The scented fan of Claim 8, wherein said rotatable hub has a bore that accommodates the motor shaft in a force fit.

10. The scented fan of Claim 9, wherein said bore and shaft have interfering members that resist relative rotational movement between said bore and shaft.

11. A combination scented fan and replaceable fan blade assembly, comprising: a scented fan body assembly including a ventilated housing, a flat base, and a body containing a compartment for batteries and a motor having a drive shaft; and a fan blade assembly mounted to the shaft, said fan blade assembly including a rotatable hub carrying at least one fan blade member impregnated with a scented material, said fan blade assembly being removable and replaceable as a unit from said scented fan body assembly.

12. The combination of Claim 11, wherein said rotatable hub has a bore that accommodates the motor shaft in a force fit.

13. The combination of Claim 11, wherein said bore and shaft have interfering members that resist relative rotational movement between said bore and shaft.

14. A method for changing the scent emitted by a scented portable fan having a ventilated housing, a body having a motor with a drive shaft and a fan blade assembly having a rotatable hub and a blade member, the method comprising: removing an assembly member securing a front portion to a rear portion of the housing; pulling the front housing portion off of the rear housing portion; pulling the fan blade assembly off of the motor shaft;

pushing a replacement fan blade assembly onto the motor shaft; pushing the front housing portion back on to the rear housing portion; and replacing the assembly member to secure the front housing portion to the rear housing portion.

15. A fan blade assembly comprising: a hub base including a mounting flange with a hole therethrough and at least one curved ramp projecting from the mounting flange; a hub cap comprising a shaft and at least one curved aperture with a contour substantially matching the contour of the curved ramp; and at least one blade member sandwiched between said curved ramp of the hub base and said curved aperture of the hub cap.

16. The fan blade assembly of Claim 15, wherein the blade is scented.

17. The fan blade assembly of Claim 15, wherein the blade is flexible.

18. A method for changing the blade of a fan blade assembly having a base, a cap and at least one flexible blade, the method comprising: pulling the cap off of the base; pulling the blade off of the base; pushing on a replacement flexible blade wherein the flexible blade is initially in a flat configuration and wherein the flexible blade is aligned with a curved ramp on the base;

pushing on the cap wherein a curved aperture on the cap is aligned with the curved ramp on the base and wherein a shaft on the cap is aligned with a hole in the base, causing the curved ramp and the curved aperture to engage the flexible blade, securing the flexible blade and forcing the flexible blade into a curved configuration.

Description:

SCENTED FAN

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[001] There are many products on the market aimed at improving the scent of the air in household rooms. Some such products incorporate scented components that give off a pleasant aroma when exposed to the atmosphere. [002] One proposed scented product includes a fan in the form of a ceiling fan with a scented medium that is attached in some manner to one or more fan blades. Operation of the ceiling fan causes scented air to be to be blown throughout the airspace of the room. An example of such a known scented fan blade is described in U.S. Patent No. 7,104,755 to Owens et al. This patent is directed to a ceiling fan with a scented medium that is inserted into a fan blade, where it is proposed that the scented medium can be any of a solid, a liquid, or a gaseous carrier vehicle. [003] Another proposed scented fan-like device is a portable fan unit that provides a scent through the use of a scented pad or stick placed at the top of the fan such that the fan blades will blow scented air into the airspace during operation. An example of a known portable scented fan device is described in U.S. Patent No. 6,109,874 to Steiner et al. The patent is directed towards a portable hand held fan device and discloses an embodiment that

provides a scent in the air around the device by operation of the fan blades to blow air over a scented pad or stick that is placed on the fan in an area immediately behind the fan blades. Another embodiment of the patent provides for the portable hand held fan blades to be made of porous foam impregnated with water soluble granulated scented material that works in conjunction with a misting sprayer.

SUMMARY OF THS INVENTION

[004] The present invention provides a battery-operated portable air freshener fan. The fan has a base that allows the fan to stand upright on a surface. The base contains a cavity for the batteries that power the fan. Extending from the base is a fan that that is located inside a housing with slotted vents that open to the outside. The fan blades are made of porous foam that is impregnated with a scented material.

[005] It is a general aspect or object of the present invention to provide a portable air freshener.

[006] Another aspect or object of the present invention is to provide a portable fan with scented fan blades.

[007] Yet another aspect or object of the present invention is to provide a portable fan that is capable of maintaining a standing position on a relatively flat surface without additional support.

[008] Another aspect or object of the present invention is to provide a portable scented fan with a battery operated power source.

[009] Yet another aspect or object of the present invention is to provide a packaging enclosure such as foil

_ 9 _

wrapping to seal in the scent until the portable scented fan is put into operation.

[0010] Another aspect or object of the present invention is to provide a replaceable fan blade assembly. tOOll] These and other aspects, objects, features and advantages of the present invention, including the various features used in various combinations, will be better understood in connection with the following drawings in which certain specific features are shown and description of the preferred embodiments.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION QF THE DRAWINGS

[0012] FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of an embodiment of a portable scented fan incorporating features of the present invention;

[0013] FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of the portable scented fan of FIG. 1;

[0014] FIG. 3 is a side cross-sectional view of the portable scented fan of FIG. 1;

[0015] FIG. 4 is a cut away or cross-sectional side perspective view of the portable scented fan of FIG. 1; [0016] FIG. 5 is a bottom plan view of the portable scented fan of FIG. 1.

[0017] FIG. 6 is a side cross-sectional view of the fan body assembly of the portable scented fan of FIG.l; [0018] FIG. 7 is a front elevational view of an embodiment of a fan blade assembly;

[0019] FIG. 7A is a top plan view of an embodiment of a fan blade member used in the FIG. 7 fan blade assembly;

[0020] FIG. 7B is a side view of an embodiment of a rotating hub base of the FIG. 7 fan blade assembly;

[0021] FIG. 7C is a top plan view of the rotating hub base of FIG. 7B;

[0022] FIG. 7D is a side view of an embodiment of a rotating hub cap of the FIG. 7 fan blade assembly;

[0023] FIG. 7E is a top plan view of the rotating hub cap of FIG. 7D;

[0024] FIG. 8 is a rear elevational view of the fan blade assembly of FIG. 7; and

[0025] FIG. 9 is an exploded cross-sectional view of the portable scented fan of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0026] As required, detailed embodiments of the present invention are disclosed herein; however, it is to be understood that the disclosed embodiments are merely exemplary of the invention, which may be embodied in various forms. Therefore, specific details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but merely as a basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to variously employ the present invention in virtually any appropriate manner. [0027] The various drawing figures will now be referred to in detail. Turning first to FIG. 1, a portable scented fan, generally designated as 10, includes a base 20 that includes a battery cover 30.

[0028] The illustrated portable scented fan 10 includes a ventilated housing 40 that has ventilation slots 50 in at least the front face of the ventilated housing 40. At

least two scented fan. blades 60 are positioned inside of the ventilated housing 40.

[0029] FIG. 2 illustrates the front view of the portable scented fan 10. The base 20 is flat such that portable scented fan 10 can stand on a relatively flat surface without additional support. At times, this can be facilitated by raised members 65 to provide a platform extending beyond projections such as ribs 66 to assist in opening of battery cover 30. Members 65 can have a high friction surface to aid in stabilizing the fan during use. [0030] FIG. 3 illustrates a side view of the portable scented fan 10. The fan body assembly 70 contains the fan motor 83 (FIG. 9), motor shaft 85, on-off switch 75 and the batteries (not shown) .

[0031] FIG. 4 illustrates a cross-sectional perspective side view of the interior of the portable scented fan 10. A fan blade assembly 90 includes scented fan blades 60 attached to a rotating hub 80. Fan blade assembly 90 spins inside of the ventilated housing 40, forcing air through ventilation slots 50. Ventilated housing 40 includes a rear safety housing or grill 43 and a front safety housing or grill 45.

[0032] FIG. 5 illustrates the bottom view of the portable scented fan 10. The base 20 is oval shaped and the battery cover 30 is a separable part of the base 20. The raised members 65 are visible.

[0033] FIG. 6 illustrates a side view of fan body assembly 70 of portable scented fan 10. Fan body assembly 70 includes a motor shaft 85 that receives fan blade assembly 90. Fan body assembly 70 also defines rear safety housing 43.

[0034] FIG. 7 is the front view of this illustrated fan blade assembly 90. Fan blade assembly 90 comprises rotating hub 80 and scented fan blade member 63 having blades 60. The blade member 63 can be a single piece having blades 60 on outside locations thereof and having a hole 62 through the center of the blade member 63 to accommodate a shaft. A typical blade mamber 63, prior to shaping as described herein, is shown in FIG. 7A. The illustrated rotating hub 80 comprises a rotating hub base 78 (FIGS. 7B and 7C) and a rotating hub cap 79 (FIGS. 7D and 7E) . Typically, the rotating hub cap 79 will be generally semi-spherical.

[0035] The illustrated embodiment of the rotating hub base 78 has a mounting flange 71 with a mounting hole 77 in the center. Also, a plurality of curved ramps 76 project away from the mounting flange 71. The number of curved ramps 76 is equal to the number of blades 60 to be shaped out of the blade member. Each curved ramp 76 has a three- dimensional curved configuration of a short spiral which extends between the mounting flange 71 and an upstanding wall 93, the upstanding wall 93 being generally perpendicular to the mounting flange 71. [0036] Further, the illustrated embodiment of the rotating hub cap 79 has a central shaft 74 that defines a bore 88 for receiving a shaft as seen in FIG. 8. The rotating hub cap 79 also has a plurality of curved apertures 73 equal in number to the number of curved ramps 76 on the rotating hub base 78. Each curved aperture 73 has a curved edge 81 that follows the semi-spherical contour of the hub cap 79 and thus is in three dimensions in the nature of a short spiral. The illustrated curved aperture has an edge 91 that is shorter than and joins with the

spiral curved edge 81. As shown, the shorted edge 91 approximates a straight line to facilitate is being accommodated onto the generally perpendicular wall 93 of the curved ramp.

[0037] The curved ramps and apertures are provided in pairs to support and shape the blade member 63 sandwiched therebetween. Typically, a plurality of curved ramp and aperture pairs are provided, and they are spaced symmetrically around the circumference of the rotating hub assembly 80, depending upon the pattern of blades that is required of the particular design.

[0038] It will be noted that the curve of each curved ramp 76 of the hub base is generally congruent with the curve of the curved apertures 73 of the hub cap 79 that is associated with that hub base. While each opposing pair of rotating hub base curved ramps 76 and rotating hub cap curved apertures 73 will be generally congruent with each other in order to efficiently and positively shape a particular blade 60 from the blade member 63, it is possible that other pairs of curved apertures and ramps [0039] Assembly of the fan blade assembly 90 is achieved by aligning the hole 62 of blade member 63 with the mounting hole 77 of the rotating hub base 78 and also by aligning blades 60 with the curved ramps 76 of the rotating hub base 78. Further, the central shaft 74 of the rotating hub cap 79 is aligned with the mounting hole 77 and the curved apertures 73 of the rotating hub cap 79 are aligned with the curved ramps 76. In the illustrated embodiment, the rotating hub cap 79 and the rotating hub base 78 are pushed together such that the central shaft 74 engages the mounting hole 77 with a friction fit. Further, the blade member 63 is engaged and secured between the curved ramps

76 and the curved apertures 73, forcing the blade member 63 from a flat configuration into the curved configuration of each resulting shaped blade 60.

[0040] Fan blade assembly 90 can be pulled off of motor shaft 85 and replaced by another fan blade assembly 90 that has fan blades 60 with the same or different color and/or scent. Replaceable fan blade assembly provides versatility to the scented blade fan, allowing the owner of the fan to extend the scent-imparting life of the fan to avoid having to dispose of the entire fan product when the blade scent has dissipated. Alternatively, the existing blade member could be removed from the existing fan blade assembly and replaced with another blade member with the same or different color and/or scent.

[0041] FIG. 8 illustrates the rear view of fan blade assembly 90. Rotating hub 80 includes the bore or channel 88 that is open to the rear and is adapted to securely receive motor shaft 85 such that rotating hub 80 spins with motor shaft 85 without slippage. Securement between the bore 88 and the shaft 85 typically is by way of a force fit, and elongated ridges 92 {FIG. 3) or short stops 94 {FIG. 8) can be included within the bore, and/or one or more elongated spine 96 {FIG. 6) can be included on the shaft 85, or the shaft can be knurled, in order to enhance engagement between the shaft and the bore to reduce the possibility of slippage therebetween during rotation of the shaft by the motor. Whether any or all of ridges, stops, spines or knurls are provided, the engagement between shaft 85 and bore 88 allows for digital force to remove the fan blade assembly 90 from the shaft 85 and to reinstall a fan blade assembly onto the shaft when it is desired to replace or change the fan blade assembly.

[0042] FIG. 9 illustrates an exploded side view of portable scented fan 10. A motor 83 is positioned within fan body assembly 70 such that motor shaft 85 is aligned with the bore or channel 88 of the fan blade assembly 90. An electrical wire 87 is connected between motor 83 and on- off switch 75. In the illustrated assembly, screw hole 47 in rear safety housing 43 is aligned with screw retention cavity 49 in front safety housing 45, and a projecting tab 98 is received within a slot 99 of the fan body assembly 70.

[0043] In use, the portable scented fan 10 is operated by at least one battery 84 contained within the fan body assembly 70 and accessible through the battery cover 30. The scented fan blades 60 are comprised of porous foam that is impregnated with a scented material, such as aromatic oil. During operation, the scented fan blades 60 spin within the ventilated housing 40, causing scented air to blow out of the ventilation slots 50 and into the surrounding airspace.

[0044] If the scent wears out or a different scent and or blade color is desired, fan blade assembly 90 may be replaced. Front safety housing 45 is unscrewed from rear safety housing 43 and removed, also lifting the tab 98 out of the slot 99 in the illustrated embodiment . The existing fan blade assembly 90 is pulled free from motor shaft 85. The replacement fan blade assembly 90 is held such that bore 88 is aligned with motor shaft 85, and then replacement fan blade assembly 90 is pushed onto motor shaft 85. The tab 98 is inserted into the slot 99, and front safety housing 45 is screwed to rear safety housing 43 and portable scented fan 10 is ready for continued use.

[0045] While preferred forms of the invention have been shown and described, it will be realized that alterations, modifications and/or combinations may be made thereto without departing from the scope of the following claims. For example, other types of materials for the fan blades could be used, such as metal or other resins or polymers. Also, a power cord to be plugged into a power source could be used instead of batteries. In addition, the fan blades could be exposed and not behind a housing. Further, replacement blades or blade members could be interchangeable within the same fan blade assembly. [0046] It will be understood that the embodiments of the present invention which have been described are illustrative of some of the applications of the principles of the present invention. Numerous modifications may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the true spirit and scope of the invention, including those combinations of features that are individually disclosed or claimed herein.