Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog

They Invented What? (No. 12)

Posted in They Invented What? by Jake Ward on August 15, 2006

U.S. Pat. No. 6,360,693:  Animal toy.

JW Note:  Many thanks to Brad Bower at Duke University for tipping me off to this one. 

patentstick 

Abstract: 

An apparatus for use as a toy by an animal, for example a dog, to either fetch carry or chew includes a main section with at least one protrusion extending therefrom that resembles a branch in appearance. The toy is formed of any of a number of materials including rubber, plastic, or wood including wood composites and is solid. It is either rigid or flexible. A flavoring (scent) is added, if desired. The toy is adapted to float by including a material therein that is lighter than water or it is adapted to glow in the dark, as desired, by the addition of a fluorescent material that is either included in the material from which the toy is made or the flourescent material is applied thereto as a coating. The toy may be segmented (i.e., notched) so as to break off into smaller segments, as is useful for smaller animals or, alternatively, to extend the life of the toy. Various textured surfaces including camouflage colorings are anticipated as are straight or curved main sections. The toy may be formed of any desired material, as described, so as to be edible by the animal. 

Claims: 

What is claimed is:

1. An animal toy, comprising: (a) a solid main section having a diameter and a longitudinal length and extending a predetermined distance along said longitudinal length; and (b) at least one protrusion attached at one end thereof said main section and extending a predetermined distance therefrom and wherein said at least one protrusion includes a second longitudinal axis that is not in parallel alignment with a first longitudinal axis of said solid main section; and wherein said animal toy is adapted to float on the water.

2. The animal toy of claim 1 wherein said main section is formed of a rubber.

3. The animal toy of claim 1 wherein said main section is formed of a plastic.

4. The animal toy of claim 1 wherein said main section includes a wood.

5. The animal toy of claim 1 wherein said main section includes cellulose.

6. The animal toy of claim 1 wherein said main section includes a flavoring.

7. The animal toy of claim 1 wherein said main section includes a scent added thereto.

8. The animal toy of claim 1 wherein said main section is rigid.

9. The animal toy of claim 1 wherein said main section is flexible.

10. The animal toy of claim 1 wherein said main section is chewable.

11. The animal toy of claim 1 wherein said main section includes a material that is lighter than water.

12. The animal toy of claim 1 wherein said animal toy includes a fluorescent coating.

13. The animal toy of claim 1 wherein said animal toy includes a camouflage coating.

14. The animal toy of claim 1 wherein said animal toy is formed of wood particles.

15. The animal toy of claim 1 wherein said animal toy is formed of wood chips.

16. The animal toy of claim 1 wherein said main section includes at least one notch, said at least one notch adapted to fracture said animal toy proximate said notch upon an application of sufficient lateral pressure to said animal toy.

17. A method for making an animal toy, which comprises: compressing particles of cellulose together under pressure sufficient to retain said particles together when said pressure is removed so as to form said animal toy wherein said animal toy includes a main section having a first longitudinal axis and at least one protrusion extending therefrom and wherein said at least one protrusion includes a second longitudinal axis that is not parallel with respect to said first longitudinal axis and wherein said animal toy is adapted to float on the water.

18. The method of claim 17 including the step of adding a flavoring to said particles of cellulose prior to the step of compressing.

19. The method of claim 17 including the step of adding a resin to said particles of cellulose prior to the step of compressing.

20. The method of claim 17 wherein said particles are compressed so as to produce a main section having a diameter and a length and at least one protrusion attached thereto.

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