Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog

They Invented What? (No. 39)

Posted in They Invented What? by Jake Ward on March 14, 2007

U.S. Pat. No.6,702,582:  Device and method for solving circles.

JW Note:  In honor of Pi Day.  We hope you celebrated on time (3/14 at 1:59 PM . . . Einstein’s Birthday).

 piday

What is claimed is:

1. A device for visually demonstrating a characteristic of a circle, comprising: a cylindrical container having a body and a lid fitted thereon with at least three projections, a first projection located at a point on a circumference of a circle defined by an upper surface of said lid, a second projection in a center of said circle, and a third projection on the circumference of said circle opposite said first projection and in linear alignment with said first and second projections across a diameter of said upper surface; and a string attached at one end to said lid adjacent said first projection and having a length at least equal to the circumference of said lid.

2. The device as set forth in claim 1, wherein an outer wall surface of said body is perpendicular to said upper surface, a height of said outer wall surface being exactly one half a radius of said circular upper surface.

3. The device as set forth in claim 1, wherein the length of said string is equal to said circumference and includes a marker at a point midway along said length thereof.

4. The device as set forth in claim 1, wherein the length of said string is greater than said circumference, said string including a marker at a point equal to said circumference.

5. The device as set forth in claim 1, wherein the length of said string is equal to said circumference and said string includes markings along said length that are evenly spaced from one another at a distance equal to 1/7 of said diameter.

6. The device as set forth in claim 1, further comprising; a plurality of three-dimensional circle sectors, each of said sectors having an equal radius; and a second string running through each of said plurality of circle sectors at a midpoint of said radii to connect said plurality of circle sectors rotatably along said second string.

7. The device as set forth in claim 6, said second string having an enlargement at each end thereof such that said plurality of circle sectors cannot slide off said second string.

8. The device as set forth in claim 7, wherein said plurality of circle sectors and said second string fit within said cylindrical container.

9. The device as set forth in claim 6, wherein said plurality of circle sectors, when center points thereof are in alignment, form a circle when said second string is pulled taut to place said sectors next to one another along radii thereof.

10. The device as set forth in claim 6, wherein said plurality of circle sectors, when center points thereof are alternating, form an approximate parallelogram when said second string is pulled taut to place said sectors next to one another along radii thereof.

11. A device for visually demonstrating a characteristic of a circle, comprising: a cylindrical element having an upper surface defining a circle and a rim extending perpendicularly therefrom, at least three projections extending from said upper surface, a first projection located at a point on a circumference of said circle, a second projection in a center of said circle, and a third projection on the circumference of said circle opposite said first projection and in linear alignment with said first and second projections; and a string attached at one end to said rim adjacent said first projection and having a length equal to the circumference of said lid such that said string wraps around said rim exactly one time.

12. The device as set forth in claim 11, wherein said string includes a marker at a point midway along said length thereof.

13. The device as set forth in claim 11, wherein said rim includes a groove around a circumference thereof, and said first and third projections extend outwardly from said upper surface, each having a groove on either side thereof for guiding of said string from said rim groove to said upper surface.

14. The device as set forth in claim 11, wherein each of said first, second and third projections extend upwardly from said upper surface.

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