Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog

They Invented What? (No. 100)

Posted in They Invented What? by Jake Ward on May 22, 2008

U.S. Pat. No. 5,533,697: Mouse pad with beverage holder.

 

What is claimed is:

1. A mouse pad, comprising a generally rectangular sheet of mouse pad material having associated therewith a retaining means for retaining a beverage container, wherein said generally rectangular sheet also has a notch formed therein and a projection extending therefrom, and said projection has at least one dimension greater than three and one-half inches, and said notch is substantially similar in size and configuration to said projection.

2. The mouse pad of claim 1, wherein said retaining means includes a circular hole formed through said sheet, including at least a portion of said projection, and said circular hole is approximately three and one-half inches in diameter.

3. The mouse pad of claim 1, wherein said notch is generally in the shape of a circle having a diameter of approximately three and one-half inches.

4. A mouse pad, comprising a first piece of mouse pad material sized and configured to accommodate operation of a computer mouse, a second piece of mouse pad material sized and configured to support a beverage container, and a connecting means for connecting said second piece of mouse pad material to said first piece of mouse pad material, wherein said second piece of mouse pad material has a straight edge, and said connecting means includes a flap secured beneath said second piece of mouse pad material and extending beyond said straight edge to lie beneath said first piece of mouse pad material when said straight edge abuts a straight edge on said first piece of mouse pad material.

5. A mouse pad having associated therewith a retaining means for retaining a beverage container and further comprising:

a first piece of mouse pad material having an opening formed therein, said opening being bordered by an arcuate edge that extends through more than 180 degrees and has a radius of approximately one and three-quarters inches; and
a second piece of mouse pad material having a projection substantially similar in size and shape to said opening, wherein said projection is selectively inserted into said opening to provide a substantially continuous upper surface on the mouse pad.
6. The mouse pad of claim 5, wherein said opening is a notch that extends inward from an edge of said first piece, and said second piece has an additional portion adjacent said projection, and said additional portion is a partial mirror image of said projection, and said additional portion is selectively inserted into said notch to cooperate with said arcuate edge in bordering a circular hole in the mouse pad, said hole having a diameter of approximately three and one-half inches.

7. The mouse pad of claim 6, wherein said notch is less than three and one-half inches across at said edge of said first piece.

8. A mouse pad, comprising a sheet of mouse pad material having an upper surface, and a beverage container support secured to said sheet of mouse pad material at an eccentric location, wherein said support is generally circular in shape and presents an upwardly facing surface which has a higher coefficient of friction and is more absorbent than said upper surface.

9. A mouse pad of a type that rests freely upon a support surface and supports a beverage container having a sidewall, comprising:

a sheet of mouse pad material having a working surface on which a mouse may be operated; and
a beverage container retaining means adjoined directly to said sheet, for retaining the beverage container relative to said sheet, wherein a portion of said retaining means is disposed higher above the support surface than is a portion of the sidewall on the beverage container when retained by said retaining means, whereby said portion of said retaining means provides resistance to tipping of the beverage container.
10. The mouse pad of claim 9, wherein said beverage container retaining means includes:

a block of mouse pad material having a perimeter;
a beverage container support associated with said block, located within said perimeter, and having a dimension of at least three and one-quarter inches; and
a connecting means for releasably connecting said block adjacent to said sheet of mouse pad material.
11. The mouse pad of claim 9, wherein said beverage container retaining means includes a hole formed through said sheet and sufficient in size to receive a cylindrical beverage container as large as three and one-quarter inches in diameter.

12. The mouse pad of claim 9, wherein said beverage container retaining means includes a coaster secured to an eccentric portion of said working surface.

13. The apparatus of claim 9, wherein said sheet of mouse pad material is flexible.

14. An apparatus designed to facilitate operation of a computer mouse and intermittent storage of a beverage container, comprising:

a mouse pad having a perimeter and designed to rest upon a support surface; and
a beverage container retaining means secured within the perimeter of said mouse pad, for retaining the beverage container relative to said mouse pad.
15. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein said retaining means includes a circular hole formed through said mouse pad.

16. The apparatus of claim 15, wherein said circular hole is approximately three and one-half inches in diameter.

17. The apparatus of claim 16, wherein said beverage container retaining means further includes a plastic insert having a cylindrical sidewall and a circular bottom, and said cylindrical sidewall has an outer diameter of approximately three and one-half inches and an inner diameter of approximately three and one-quarter inches, and said insert is secured within said circular hole.

18. The apparatus of claim 17, wherein said insert is approximately as deep as said mouse pad is thick, whereby said insert can be inserted upside down into said circular hole to effectively fill said circular hole and contribute to a substantially continuous upper surface on said mouse pad.

19. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein said beverage container retaining means includes a disc which is made of cork and secured to an upper surface of said mouse pad.

20. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein said beverage container retaining means includes an upwardly opening containment space in said mouse pad.

21. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein said mouse pad includes an upper surface having a first, relatively lower coefficient of friction, and said beverage container retaining means includes an upwardly facing surface having a second, relatively higher coefficient of friction.

22. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein said beverage container retaining means has an effective diameter of approximately three and one-quarter inches.

23. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein said mouse pad occupies an area of less than one square foot.

24. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein said mouse pad includes an upper surface having a first, relatively lower coefficient of friction and a lower surface having a second, relatively higher coefficient of friction, and said beverage container retaining means includes an upwardly facing surface having said second coefficient of friction and a downwardly facing surface having said first coefficient of friction.

25. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein said mouse pad is made of a foam material.

 

One Response

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  1. John Segal said, on June 1, 2008 at 9:44 am

    Hi,

    I just found this web site that lets you download patents as PDF files for free. Its http://www.patentretriever.com/

    Thought I’d share this little gem with those that are interested.

    John


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