Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog

They Invented What? (No. 49)

Posted in They Invented What? by Jake Ward on May 30, 2007

U.S. Pat. No. 5,216,979:  Toilet bowl mountable trap door litter box.

 cattoilet

What is claimed is:

1. An animal litter box, with a trap door, mountable on a toiled bowl comprising: a generally elongate animal litter box having sidewall means and a bottom; mounting means for mounting of the animal litter box on top of a toilet bowl; a sidewalled well opening with significantly smaller cross sectional area than the bottom of said litter box depending from the animal litter box for holding litter and waste from an animal using the litter box; an opening and closing trap door means on said sidewalled well opening mounted with hinge means to the bottom of said animal litter box; and single trap door opening and closing means mounted on said animal litter box and connected to said trap door means for opening and closing of the trap door means to dump litter and animal waste from said sidewalled well opening directly into the toiled bowl when opened and to retain litter placed in said sidewalled well opening when said trap door means is closed; wherein said sidewalled well opening and said trap door opening and closing means are mounted under a forward portion of said animal litter box; said trap door opening and closing means includes a manual pull member extending from said trap door means to beneath a forward portion of said animal litter box; wherein said manual pull member is a trap door bracket lever moveable from an inner trap door means closed position to an outer trap door means opening position; said sidewalled well opening is a rectangular opening with parallel opposite side walls and parallel front and back walls; said trap door means includes a hinge mounted rectangular trap door member which is wider than, and extends beyond, said parallel opposite side walls; said trap door bracket lever has a transversly widened head with a forward transverse edge and upwardly extended brackets on opposite sides thereof, and short inwardly extended pins mounted on said brackets that together with said transverse edge act as a guide for said trap door through a range of opening and closing movement; said opposite side upwardly extended brackets mounting outwardly extended cam following pins; and opposite side cam slot means engaged by said cam following pins for guiding said bracket lever and said trap door through its range of opening and closing movement.

2. The animal litter box, with a trap door, mountable on a toilet bowl of claim 1, wherein said trap door member is mounted by a plastic transverse flex hinge as hinge means mounting said trap door member to the bottom of said animal litter box.

3. An animal litter box, with a trap door, mountable on a toilet bowl comprising: a generally elongate litter box having side wall means and a bottom; nounting means for mounting of the animal litter box on top of a toilet bowl; a sidewalled well opening with significantly smaller cross sectional area than the bottom of said litter box depending from the animal litter box for holding litter and waste from an animal using the litter box; an opening and closing trap door means on said sidewalled well opening mounted with hinge means to the bottom of said animal litter box; and single trap door means opening and closing means mounted on said animal litter box and connected to said trap door means for opening and closing of the trap door means to dump litter and animal waste from said sidewalled well opening directly into the toilet bowl when opened and retain litter placed in said sidewalled well opening when said trap door is closed; wherein said sidewalled well opening and said trap door opening and closing means are mounted beneath a forward portion of said animal litter box; adjustable mounting means is provided for adjusting back and forth movement through a range of position settings for mounting said litter box on top of a toilet bowl; said adjustable mounting means is a mounting plate mounted in place on a toilet bowl by bolts that are the toilet seat mounting bolts; said mounting plate having parallel opposite side slots through which said seat mounting bolts extend with the slots providing said range of position settings; said mounting plate including a plurality of mounting pin openings; said animal litter box includes mounting structure means under said animal litter box bottom; and a plurality of mounting pins in said mounting structure means positioned for mounting insertion in said plurality of mounting pin openings in said mounting plate.

4. The animal litter box, with a trap door, mountable on a toilet bowl of claim 3, wherein at least one of said plurality of mounting pins has a slotted bottom for opposite pin slot sides to resiliently snap outward as a snap in place fitting through an opening of said plurality of mounting pin openings.

5. The animal litter box, with a trap door, mountable on a toilet bowl of claim 3, wherein said mounting plate has a curved edge matching curvature of the toilet seat such that a left in place mounting plate is generally hidden under the toilet seat when the seat is is in the lowered state.

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