Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog

They Invented What? (No. 23)

Posted in They Invented What? by Jake Ward on November 8, 2006

U.S. Pat. No. 5,578,617:  Method and apparatus for making a drink hop along a bar or counter.barhop

What is claimed is:

          1. A system for conveying liquid in the interior of a building comprising a horizontal surface of a bar top, which horizontal surface is supported above ground level by at least one vertical leg and is adapted to be surrounded by seating and used as an eating and drinking surface to place food and drinks thereon; said surface having a receiving area;
          a conduit containing a liquid to be transported to said area;
          means for providing fluid pressure for moving the fluid in said conduit to a valving means;
          said valving means effective to cause a fluid stream to flow from said conduit though an opening in said surface in an arcuate stream into said area; and
          means for controlling said valving means.

2. A system according to claim 1 including second valving means for supplying at least one second arcuate stream to flow to an area on the said bar or the counter adjacent the area where said first fluid stream emanates.

3. A system according to claim 2 including control means for controlling the sequence of said first fluid stream and said second fluid stream whereby said second fluid stream occurs prior to the activation of said first fluid stream.

4. A system according to claim 3 wherein means for supplying fluid to a third valving means is provided and wherein said third valving means activates a third fluid stream which follows an arcuate path to an area adjacent where said second fluid stream emanates.

5. A system according to claim 4 including control means for controlling the operation of said first, second and third fluid streams whereby said third fluid stream is activated first and upon completion of said third streams, said second fluid stream is activated and upon completion of said second fluid stream, said first fluid stream is activated.

6. A system according to claim 4 wherein said fluid is water provided to the facility and wherein a said source of water extends to said valve means which is controlled by a solenoid valve which is activated by said control means.

7. A system according to claim 6 wherein said second and third fluid streams are activated by solenoid valves which are in electrical communication with said control system.

8. A system according to claim 7 wherein said control means is partially electrical and partially pneumatically operated, and wherein said valving means is activated by air pressure.

9. A system according to claim 7 wherein accumulator means are provided in said water supply to insure that there is sufficient water available to provide said fluid streams.

10. A system according to claim 4 wherein height and reach valving means are provided to control the height and extent of reach of said first fluid stream.

11. A system according to claim 10 wherein height and reach valving means are provided to manually control the height and extent of reach of said second fluid stream.

12. A system according to claim 11 wherein height and reach valving means are provided to control the height and extent of flow of said third fluid stream.

13. A system according to claim 1 wherein said container is in fluid communication with a conduit which supplies fluid pressure to activate said first fluid stream.

14. A system according to claim 1 wherein said fluid pressure means comprises a gaseous medium.

15. A system according to claim 14 wherein said medium is selected from air and carbon dioxide.

16. A system according to claim 15 wherein said fluid pressure source is in fluid communication with a regulator valve.

17. A system according to claim 16 wherein regulator valve is manually operated to control the height of said first fluid stream.

18. A system according to claim 1 wherein said first fluid stream is a laminar flow fluid stream.

19. A system according to claim 1 wherein said valve means comprises a three-way dump valve said three-way dump valve being movable between a first position preventing communication between said bar opening and a second position allowing fluid communication with said bar opening; and control means for controlling the operation of said dump valve whereby said dump valve is moved between said first and second positions rapidly after sufficient fluid velocity has built up to prevent dripping of said fluid stream upon the bar.

20. A system according to claim 1 including means for deflecting located adjacent to said opening in said bar and means for moving said means for deflecting between a position blocking fluid flow and a second position allowing fluid flow from said opening and control means for controlling back and forth movement of said means for deflecting.

21. A system according to claim 20 wherein said means for deflecting includes an operating shaft and wherein said operating shaft is activated by a solenoid activator to move it between said first and second positions.

22. A system according to claim 21 wherein said means for deflecting is pivotally mounted and wherein means are provided to move said pivot operating shaft T and said means for deflecting between a position blocking flow from said opening in said bar and a position allowing flow from said bar opening.

23. A system according to claim 1 including means for providing a light source to light said fluid stream.

24. A system according to claim 23 wherein said light source is a high energy light source.

25. A system according to claim 24 wherein said high energy light source is a laser.

26. A system according to claim 23 including means for focusing said light source into said fluid stream.

27. A system according to claim 26 wherein said means for focusing comprises a window.

28. A system, according to claim 1 wherein said receiving area includes a drink glass.

29. A method of moving a liquid in the interior of a building on the horizontal surface of a bar top, which horizontal surface is supported above ground level by at least one vertical leg and is adapted to be surrounded by seating and used as an eating and drinking surface to place food and drinks thereon comprising:

providing a conduit containing the liquid to be transported to an opening on said surface;

providing a source of fluid pressure to said conduit;

providing a valving means in said conduit in communication with said opening;

applying said fluid pressure to said valving means whereby said liquid passes through said valving means and through said opening to cause a fluid stream of said liquid to flow from said opening in an arcuate fluid stream onto a selected area on said surface.

30. A method according to claim 29 wherein including forming a lamellar fluid stream with said valving means whereby said fluid stream flows arcuately into said area.

31. A method according to claim 29 including providing second valve means; supplying water to said second valving means, and activating said second valve means to cause water to flow from said second valving means in an arcuate fluid stream into a second area adjacent said opening in said bar or counter.

32. A method according to claim 31 including providing a third valving means; below said bar providing water to said third valving means; activating said first, second and third valving means sequentially, whereby a first fluid stream flows from said third valving means in an arcuate fluid stream to a third area adjacent said second valve means, and a second fluid stream flows from said second valving means to a second area adjacent said first opening and a third fluid stream of liquid from said container flows through said first opening and in an arcuate fluid stream into said first area.

33. A method according to claim 32 including providing control means for sequential providing said first arcuate stream, said second arcuate stream and said third arcuate in sequence.

34. A method according to claim 32 including providing at least one manual valve and manually activating said manual valve for controlling the height of at least one of said streams.

35. A method according to claim 34 including providing at least two manual valving means and activating said valves for controlling the height of at least two of said fluid streams.

36. A method according to claim 35 including providing a third manual valve and activating said third manual valve for controlling the height of said third fluid stream.

37. A method according to claim 32 including controlling the sequence of said first, second and third fluid streams electrically.

38. A method according to claim 32 including controlling the operation of said first, second and third fluid streams partly electrically and partly pneumatically.

39. A method according to claim 29 wherein said liquid is selected from soft drinks, beer, wine, gin, vodka, whiskey, scotch, and mixtures thereof.

40. A method according to claim 29 including forming a lighted fluid stream, and directing said lighted fluid stream to said area.

41. A method according to claim 40 including forming said lighted fluid stream with a high energy light source.

42. A method according to claim 41 including forming said lighted fluid stream with a laser.

43. A method according to claim 41 including focusing said light to embed said light within said fluid stream.

44. A method according to claim 40, including causing said lighted fluid stream to enter a glass located on said bar.

45. A method according to claim 29 wherein said valving means is a dump valve and wherein said dump valve is a three-way valve which insures adequate fluid flow velocity to obtain an arcuate fluid stream above slid bar or counter and substantially avoids dripping upon said bar or counter.

46. A method according to claim 45 wherein said dump valve is set to direct fluid flow into a drain from 0.10 to 0.40 sec. before allowing fluid pressure to form said arcuate fluid stream.

47. A method according to claim 29 including providing a deflector adjacent to said opening in said bar and moving said deflector between a first position blocking flow from said bar opening and a second position allowing flow from said bar opening and moving said deflector back and forth to provide discrete fluid streams exiting from said bar opening.

48. A method according to claim 47 including providing a solenoid actuator attached to said deflector and activating said solenoid to move said deflector between said first and said second positions.

49. A method according to claim 47 including providing a pivot point upon said deflector and pivoting said deflector between a position blocking flow from said bar opening and a second position allowing flow from said bar opening and moving said deflector back and forth to allow discrete fluid stream segments to exit from said opening.

50. A method according to claim 29, including causing said fluid stream to flow in a container located upon said bar.

51. A method of moving a liquid in the interior of a building on the horizontal surface of a bar top, which horizontal surface is supported above ground level by at least one vertical leg and is adapted to be surrounded by seating and used as an eating and drinking surface to place food and drinks thereon comprising:

providing a container containing the liquid to be transported to an area on said surface;

providing a source of gaseous pressure to said container;

providing a robe extending into the lower portion of said container and extending upwardly through a valving means in communication with an opening in said surface;

applying gaseous pressure to said container whereby said liquid passes through said robe, through said opening in said surface; and activating said valving means to cause a fluid stream of said liquid to flow from said opening into said area.

52. A method according to claim 51 wherein including forming a laminar fluid stream with said valving means whereby said fluid stream flows arcuately into said container or area.

53. A method according to claim 51 including providing second valving means; supplying fluid pressure to said second valving means, and activating said second valve means to cause fluid to flow from said second valving means arcuately into the area of said first opening in said bar or counter.

54. A method according to claim 53 including providing a third valving means which provides an arcuate fluid stream below said bar or conduit; providing fluid pressure to said third valve means; activating said third valving means sequentially, whereby a first fluid stream flows from said third valving means arcuately to an area adjacent to said second valve means, and a second fluid stream flows from said second valving means to an area adjacent to said first opening and third fluid stream from said conduit flows through said first opening and into said container or area.

55. A method according to claim 54 including providing control means for sequentially providing said first arcuate stream, said second arcuate stream and said third arcuate stream in sequence.

56. A method according to claim 51, including causing said fluid stream to flow into a glass, located upon said bar.

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