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Animal deterrent device with insulated fasteners

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Animal deterrent device with insulated fasteners


An animal deterrent device and methods for installing and producing an animal deterrent device for delivering an electric shock to an animal, pest, or bird to be deterred, having the typical components of a non-conductive base to which the electrically conductive elements are attached. The bottom layer unfolds outward to allow sewing of the conductive elements to the top layer of the elongated base, while preventing the stitching from penetrating the bottom layer of the elongated base. The bottom layer is then folded back into place after sewing is completed, thereby insulating any hole, fastener, or conductive element that pushed through the top layer of the elongated base from water or other material that may congregate at the bottom exterior, preventing unwanted arcing to the exterior surface below.
Related Terms: Conductive Elements

USPTO Applicaton #: #20140069350 - Class: 119712 (USPTO) -
Animal Husbandry > Animal Controlling Or Handling (e.g., Restraining, Breaking, Training, Sorting, Conveying, Etc.)

Inventors: Cameron A. Riddell

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20140069350, Animal deterrent device with insulated fasteners.

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CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation of co-pending U.S. application Ser. No. 13/533,923, filed Jun. 26, 2012, which is a continuation of co-pending U.S. application Ser. No. 13/533,846, filed Jun. 26, 2012, the entirety of which are incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD

This patent document relates in general to an animal deterrent device that delivers an electric shock to animals or pests that come into contact with it. In particular, this patent document pertains to such devices that are adapted for use as bird deterrent devices.

BACKGROUND

Electricity was first put to commercial and residential use in the United States in the late 1800\'s, to solve the age-old problem of darkness. Ever since, the ability of electrical current to deliver an electric shock to a person or animal has been recognized. Shortly thereafter, the non-lethal applications of electricity for use in encouraging the behavior of animals was commercially implemented. The electric cattle prod is perhaps the best known of those devices. Today, however, electricity is used in many ways with animals. As just a few examples, electric fences are used to keep farm animals in and predators out, and dog trainers use electrical stimulus in dog collars to assist with dog training.

An age-old problem that has been perplexing mankind since long before the discovery and harnessing of electricity is the propensity of pests in general, but particularly birds, to land in areas where their human neighbors would prefer they did not. An incredible array of devices have been used to dissuade birds from landing or roosting in areas undesirable to humans. Metallic spikes, coil or rotating devices, sound-emitting devices, imitation predators, and even real predators, are just a few examples of bird deterrent devices that have been used.

At some point in the evolution of bird deterrent devices lethal and non-lethal electrical shock began to be employed as a bird deterrent. One device of this type is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 4,299,048. In one embodiment, a pair of copper wires connected to a power source are embedded in opposite sides of a cable of appropriate diameter such that when the birds of choice (in this case, starlings) land on the cable, their feet touch both wires, closing the circuit and thereby delivering a lethal shock to the birds.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,283,064 discloses another version of a bird and pest deterrent device in which a pair of crimped copper wires are appropriately spaced apart so that the bird\'s or other pest\'s feet will touch both wires, resulting in a short circuit and delivering a shock to the bird or other pest.

Other devices for carrying electric charges for discouraging birds and other pests are described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,294,893; 3,366,854; 3,717,802; 4,299,048; and 5,850,808. A common idea to all of these devices is the concept of appropriately spaced-apart electrical contacts which will both be connected by the bird\'s (or other pest\'s) feet (or other part of their anatomy) so as to deliver the appropriate electric shock.

U.S. Pat. No. 7,481,021 to Riddell uses a flexible track and replaces the typically-used wire with a braided conductive element that may be sewn to the base. This configuration helps alleviate the problem of the wire separating from its base when the track is bent to fit certain surfaces.

Some other devices and methods are disclosed, for example, in the following: U.S. Pat. Nos. 8,015,747; 8,020,340; and international applications WO 95/08915; and WO 2012/040009.

While all of these devices work at least initially to a degree in some installations, the designs of the current systems exhibit problems. One problem is the unwanted shorting of the conductive wires due to an accumulation of water beneath the track or base. For example, the stitching used to secure the metal braids or metal mesh to flexible polyvinyl chloride (“PVC”) extrusions can create problems with respect to arcing to some surface materials. Occasionally, the sewing machine\'s needle breaks a wire strand and pushes it through the bottom of the base. When the wire is electrified these strands can arc with a wet or metal surface below. In addition, water that pools underneath the track can be absorbed by the thread used to sew the conductive wire to the base, creating a conductor and causing an arc to the surface below. Raising the stitch off the surface by means of a groove does not eliminate this problem.

While the existing animal deterrents are useful to a degree, they still suffer from certain drawbacks that may cause undesired short circuiting of the device. Therefore, there exists a need in the art for an improved electrical shock deterrent device that solves or at least alleviates some or all of these problems.

SUMMARY

OF THE EMBODIMENTS

Systems and methods for deterring animals by using electrical animal deterrent devices and systems and methods of installing and manufacturing such animal deterrent devices are disclosed and claimed herein.

As described more fully below, the apparatus and processes of the embodiments disclosed permit improved systems and methods for deterring animals by using electrical animal deterrent devices and systems and methods of installing and manufacturing such animal deterrent devices. Further aspects, objects, desirable features, and advantages of the apparatus and methods disclosed herein will be better understood and apparent to one skilled in the relevant art in view of the detailed description and drawings that follow, in which various embodiments are illustrated by way of example. It is to be expressly understood, however, that the drawings are for the purpose of illustration only and are not intended as a definition of the limits of the claimed embodiments.

To this end, an animal deterrent device is provided, the animal deterrent device comprising an elongated base having a cross section including a top layer with a top surface and a bottom surface, and a bottom layer; a first conductive element extending perpendicular to the cross section along the top surface of the top layer; and a first fastener that couples the first conductive element to the top surface at a first connection point and extends from the first conductive element through the top layer to a second connection point on the bottom surface of the top layer; wherein the bottom layer insulates the first fastener at the second connection point from an exterior.

In another embodiment, the bottom layer is coupled to the top layer enclosing a gap. In yet another embodiment, the cross section of the elongated base has a slit that extends from an exterior to the gap. In another embodiment, the slit is positioned such that it creates a flap in the top layer or the bottom layer, wherein the flap covers at least a portion of the gap. In some embodiments, the flap is sufficiently flexible to allow it to be folded to obtain access to a bottom surface of the top layer from an exterior.

In certain embodiments, the animal deterrent device further comprises a second conductive element coupled to the top surface of the top layer and extending parallel to the first conductive element. In another embodiment, an adhesive is disposed on a portion of the first fastener that extends into the gap. In yet another embodiment, the first conductive element is sewn to the elongated base. In another embodiment, the first fastener extends from the first conductive element through the top layer and through the bottom layer.

In some embodiments, the cross section includes a center divider connecting the top layer and the bottom layer and is located substantially in a center of the elongated base and extending substantially perpendicular to the top layer. In another embodiment, the bottom layer is coupled to the top layer by the center divider. In yet another embodiment, the first conductive element and the second conductive element are attachable respectively to the positive and negative terminals of a power source. In another embodiment, the thickness of the bottom layer increases proximate to the slit.

In some embodiments, the animal deterrent device further comprises an anchor protruding down from the bottom surface of the top layer. In another embodiment, a portion of the anchor proximate to its bottom is thicker than a portion of the anchor further from its bottom.

In another embodiment, the anchor is an inverted T shape. In yet another embodiment, the anchor and the bottom layer are sealed with an adhesive. In another embodiment, further comprising an anchor protruding down from the bottom surface of the top layer, the thickness of the gap tapers down proximate to the anchor.

In another embodiment, the first fastener extends through the bottom layer to a third connection point on the bottom surface of the bottom layer.

In certain embodiments, the first conductive element is made of metal. In another embodiment, the first conductive element further comprises a braided wire. In yet another embodiment, the braided wire comprises some strands of a conductive material and other strands of a non-conductive material. In another embodiment, a gap at an end of the elongated base is sealed off from an exterior.

In some embodiments, the animal deterrent device further comprises an arc suppressor disposed between the first conductive element and the second conductive element. In another embodiment, the thickness of the top layer decreases proximate to the first fastener. In yet another embodiment, a surface area of the bottom surface of the bottom layer is increased over a substantial portion of the bottom surface of the bottom layer.

In one form, the present disclosure provides an animal deterrent device, comprising a first non-conductive piece having a top side and a bottom side a conductive element coupled to the first non-conductive piece with a first fastener that extends from the non-conductive piece to the bottom side; and a second non-conductive piece coupled to the first non-conductive piece wherein the second non-conductive piece covers the first fastener and insulates the first fastener from an exterior.

In certain embodiments, the first non conductive piece is coupled to the second non-conductive piece by an adhesive. In another embodiment, the second non-conductive piece is coupled to the first non-conductive piece by interlocking. In yet another embodiment, the first nonconductive piece and the second non conductive piece comprise an interlocking shape; and wherein the interlocking shape is selected from the group of a T-shape, a stemmed inverted V-shape, a stemmed inverted U-shape, a stemmed circular shape, and an arrowhead shape.

In one form, the present disclosure provides an animal deterrent device, comprising an elongated base having a hollow interior space forming a top inside surface and a bottom inside surface; a first conductive element coupled to an outside of the elongated base by a first fastener that extends through to the top inside surface; and a second conductive element coupled to an outside of the elongated base by a second fastener that extends through to the top inside surface.

In another embodiment, the elongated base has a slit that extends from the outside of the elongated base to the hollow interior space.

In one form, the present disclosure provides a method of installing an animal deterrent device, comprising the steps of applying an adhesive between a bottom layer of the animal deterrent device and an external surface; and pressing the animal deterrent device towards the external surface such that an anchor of the animal deterrent device is pressed into the adhesive; wherein the animal deterrent device comprises an elongated base having a cross section including a top layer with a top surface and a bottom surface, and the bottom layer, a first conductive element extending perpendicular to the cross section along the top surface of the top layer, a first fastener that couples the first conductive element to the top surface at a first connection point and extends from the first conductive element through the top layer to a second connection point on the bottom surface of the top layer, and the anchor protruding down from the bottom surface of the top layer, wherein the bottom layer insulates the first fastener at the second connection point from an exterior.

In some embodiments, the pressing step further comprises pressing the animal deterrent device towards the external surface such that the adhesive pushes a flap on a side of the anchor upwards as the animal deterrent device is pressed into the adhesive. In another embodiment, the adhesive enters a space between the anchor and the flap as the animal deterrent device is pressed towards the external surface. In another embodiment, the adhesive is squeezed in a direction away from the anchor during the pressing step. In yet another embodiment, a portion of the anchor proximate to its bottom is thicker than a portion of the anchor further from its bottom. In certain embodiments, the anchor is an inverted T shape. In another embodiment, the anchor further comprises a ridge wherein the adhesive is disposed on a top surface of the ridge after the pressing step. In yet another embodiment, the first conductive element and a second conductive element coupled to the top surface of the top layer are attachable respectively to the positive and negative terminals of a power source.

In one form, the present disclosure provides a method of installing an animal deterrent device, comprising the steps of applying an adhesive between a bottom layer of the animal deterrent device and an external surface; and pressing the animal deterrent device towards the external surface such that an anchor of the animal deterrent device is pressed into the adhesive; wherein the animal deterrent device comprises an elongated base having a hollow interior space forming a top inside surface and a bottom inside surface, a first conductive element coupled to an outside of the elongated base by a first fastener that extends through to the top inside surface, a second conductive element coupled to an outside of the elongated base by a second fastener that extends through to the top inside surface, and the anchor protruding down from the top inside surface.

In one form, the present disclosure provides a process for producing an animal deterrent device, the process comprising the steps of forming an elongated base having a cross section including a top layer with a top surface and a bottom surface, and a bottom layer; cutting the elongated base to create a first slit, where the first slit is positioned such that it creates a flap; folding the flap to obtain access to the bottom side of the top layer; and fastening a first conductive element to the top side of the top layer with a first fastener, such that the first fastener extends from the first conductive element to the bottom side of the top layer.

In another embodiment, the process further comprises the step of sealing the first slit. In another embodiment, the first slit is sealed with an adhesive. In yet another embodiment, the cutting step is performed by a first blade creating the first slit; and a second blade creating a second slit. In another embodiment, the first slit and the second slit are made at the same time. In yet another embodiment, the first blade is parallel to the second blade. In another embodiment, the first blade and the second blade are angled towards each other.

In some embodiments, the forming step is performed by extruding the elongated base. In another embodiment, the first slit is cut in the bottom layer. In another embodiment, the first slit is cut in the top layer.

In one form, the present disclosure provides a process for producing an animal deterrent device, the process comprising the steps of forming a top layer of an elongated base, wherein the top layer has a bottom side and a top side; forming a bottom layer of an elongated base; fastening a first conductive element to the top side of the top layer with a first fastener at a first connection point, such that the first fastener extends from the first conductive element to a second connection point on the bottom side of the top layer; and coupling the bottom layer to the bottom side of the top layer. In another embodiment, the bottom layer insulates the first fastener at the second connection point from an exterior. In yet another embodiment, the bottom layer is coupled to the top layer by an adhesive. In another embodiment, the bottom layer is coupled to the top layer by stitching. In some embodiments, the forming steps are performed by extrusion.

These and other objects, features, aspects, and advantages of the present patent document will become better understood with reference to the following description and accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of an electric deterrent device in accordance with the principles of existing designs.

FIG. 2 illustrates a cross-sectional view of an animal deterring device in accordance with the principles of existing designs.

FIG. 3 illustrates a cross-sectional view of a deterrent arrangement in accordance with the principles of existing designs.

FIG. 4 illustrates a cross-sectional view of a deterrent device in accordance with the principles of existing designs.

FIG. 5 illustrates a perspective view of one preferred embodiment of the present patent document.

FIG. 6 illustrates a vertical cross sectional view of one embodiment of the preferred animal deterrent device of FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 illustrates a vertical cross sectional view of one embodiment of the preferred animal deterrent device of FIG. 5 with pieces of the bottom layer folded outward.

FIG. 8 illustrates a vertical cross sectional view of an alternative embodiment of an animal deterrent device of the present patent document without a center divider.

FIG. 9 illustrates a vertical cross sectional view of an alternative embodiment of an animal deterrent device of the present patent document with gap extensions.

FIG. 10 illustrates a vertical cross sectional view of an alternative embodiment of an animal deterrent device of the present patent document with angled slits.

FIG. 11 illustrates a vertical cross sectional view of an alternative embodiment of an animal deterrent device of the present patent document without a center divider, where the slit is toward the edge of the gap.

FIG. 12 illustrates a vertical cross sectional view of an alternative embodiment of an animal deterrent device of the present patent document with a center divider, where the slits are toward the edges of the gaps.

FIG. 12A illustrates a vertical cross sectional view of an alternative embodiment of an animal deterrent device of the present patent document with the bottom layer folded downward instead of outward.

FIG. 13 illustrates a vertical cross sectional view of an alternative embodiment of an animal deterrent device of the present patent document where the slits are in the top layer of the elongated base.



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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20140069350 A1
Publish Date
03/13/2014
Document #
13774241
File Date
02/22/2013
USPTO Class
119712
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
01M29/26
Drawings
16


Conductive Elements


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