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Publication numberUS20030062055 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/115,331
Publication dateApr 3, 2003
Filing dateApr 1, 2002
Priority dateOct 2, 2001
Publication number10115331, 115331, US 2003/0062055 A1, US 2003/062055 A1, US 20030062055 A1, US 20030062055A1, US 2003062055 A1, US 2003062055A1, US-A1-20030062055, US-A1-2003062055, US2003/0062055A1, US2003/062055A1, US20030062055 A1, US20030062055A1, US2003062055 A1, US2003062055A1
InventorsKeith Park
Original AssigneePark Keith K.H.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Lighter with integral scissors
US 20030062055 A1
Abstract
A lighter including a scissors is provided. In a preferred embodiment the scissors is pivotably secured to a surface of the lighter body. In a folded configuration the scissors is flush with the lighter body and safely stowed within a compartment of the lighter body. In an unfolded configuration, the scissors is pivoted from the folded configuration and adapted for cutting cigars.
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Claims(21)
What is claimed is:
1. A lighter comprising:
a lighter body; and
a scissors secured to the lighter body, wherein the scissors comprise at least one curved blade.
2. The lighter of claim 1, wherein the scissors is movable between a folded position in which the scissors is substantially flush with the lighter body, and an unfolded position in which the scissors extends from the lighter body and is configured for cutting.
3. The lighter of claim 2, wherein the unfolded position is about 180° from the folded position.
4. The lighter of claim 1, wherein the scissors is pivotably secured to a first surface of the lighter body.
5. The lighter of claim 1, wherein the scissors comprises a first arm and a second arm pivotably secured to the first arm.
6. The lighter of claim 5, wherein the first and second arms each comprise a handle portion and a cutting portion.
7. The lighter of claim 6, wherein the handle portion of the scissors first arm includes a through hole, and the lighter body includes a cylindrical pin protruding from the first surface, and the through hole is disposed about the pin for pivotal movement of the scissors with respect to the lighter body.
8. The lighter of claim 7, wherein a leaf spring is attached to the first surface adjacent the scissors and the leaf spring provides resistance to rotation of the scissors about the pin.
9. The lighter of claim 8, wherein a substantially flat cover is secured to the first surface such that the scissors and leaf spring are disposed between the first surface and the cover.
10. The lighter of claim 9, wherein the cover includes an arcuate indentation along a first edge.
11. The lighter of claim 10, wherein when the scissors are in the folded position, the arcuate indentation exposes a portion of the cutting portion of the second arm.
12. The lighter of claim 11, wherein the exposed portion of the second arm includes a catch adapted to be engaged by a smoker to facilitate rotation of the scissors from the folded position toward the unfolded position.
13. The lighter of claim 12, wherein the catch comprises an indentation in a surface of the second arm.
14. The lighter of claim 12, wherein the catch comprises a protrusion from a surface of the second arm.
15. The lighter of claim 12, wherein the catch comprises a through-hole in the second arm.
16. The lighter of claim 8, wherein the scissors first arm includes a substantially flat medial surface that bears against the leaf spring when the scissors is in the folded position such that the leaf spring assists in maintaining the scissors in the folded position.
17. The lighter of claim 8, wherein the scissors first arm includes a substantially flat lateral surface, opposite the medial surface, that bears against the leaf spring when the scissors is in the unfolded position such that the leaf spring maintains the scissors in the unfolded position.
18. The lighter of claim 6, wherein the scissors comprises a substantially V-shaped leaf spring disposed between the handle portions of the first and second arms, and the leaf spring biases the handle portions away from one another.
19. The lighter of claim 1, wherein the lighter body further comprises a transparent window enabling monitoring of a level of fuel within the lighter.
20. A method of cutting and lighting a cigar with a unitary implement, the method comprising the steps of:
rotating a scissors of the implement from a first retracted position to a second cutting position;
positioning a cigar between blades of the scissors;
exerting a force on the scissors to cause the blades to cut the cigar; and
lighting the cigar.
21. The method of claim 20, further comprising the step of rotating the scissors to the first position.
Description
RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims priority to application Ser. No. 29/149,159, filed on Oct. 2, 2001 and application Ser. No. 29/149,160, filed on Oct. 2, 2001.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of the Invention

[0003] The present invention relates to lighters. More particularly, preferred embodiments of the lighter provide an integral scissors.

[0004] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0005] A typical cigar includes shredded tobacco, or filler, at its center. A binder, which is usually a tobacco leaf, is wrapped around the filler and forms the loose shredded tobacco into the characteristic cylindrical cigar shape. An outer wrapper is usually rolled around the binder to increase the cigar's sturdiness. This three-layered configuration is typical of all but the thinnest cigars.

[0006] Generally, cigars have a closed end, or head portion, which the smoker places in his or her mouth, and an open end, or foot portion, which the smoker ignites to produce smoke. The closed head portion retains the freshness and flavor of the tobacco during the period before the smoker ignites the cigar. Before smoking a cigar, however, the smoker cuts the head portion. Removing a portion of the wrapper by cutting enables smoke and air to pass through the head portion and into the smoker's mouth. Cutting also enables proper circulation of air through the cigar body, enhancing the cigar's flavor.

[0007] A variety of tools are presently available for cutting the head portion of cigars. Three common types of cutters are scissors, slicers and core punchers. Scissors generally comprises first and second levers pivotable about each other near a midpoint of each. Facing edges of each lever on a first side of the fulcrum are sharpened and comprise cutting blades. Preferably, at least one of the blades has a concave curvature. Placing a cigar head between the blades, a smoker squeezes together the levers on the second side of the fulcrum. The squeezing action brings the blades together and cuts the cigar. The curvature enables the blades to better grip the cigar during cutting.

[0008] Slicers generally have a guillotine configuration, with a stationary ring-shaped portion and a blade that is movable across the ring. The smoker places the ring about the head portion, and slices the blade through the cigar with a pinching motion of his or her thumb and finger(s). This pinching, however, requires a great deal of effort. The cutting action occurs in the space directly between the smoker's thumb and finger(s). Thus, the slicer offers no mechanical advantage to lessen the applied force necessary to make the cut.

[0009] Core punchers generally have a cylindrical configuration. A first open end of the cylinder includes a very thin wall comprising a circular blade. The smoker places the blade against the head of the cigar, and presses the blade firmly through the wrapper and into the filler. By subsequently withdrawing the cylinder from the head portion, the smoker removes a core of the head portion. Core punchers, however, are hazardous to the smoker's hands. When removing a core from the cigar head, the smoker supports the cigar with one hand and the core puncher with the other hand. The cutting action occurs in the direction of the hand that is holding the cigar. If the core puncher is misaligned when the smoker presses it against the cigar, the core puncher could slip off the cigar and move with force toward the smoker's hand, causing injury. Further, if the cigar is not properly rolled, it could crumble when the smoker presses the core puncher against the head, causing similar injury.

[0010] For convenience, cigar cutters are often combined with other typical cigar-smoking accessories. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,888,061 to Reynolds discloses an example of a slicer-type cigar cutter in combination with a lighter. The device of the '061 patent includes a casing having a body, a lighting mechanism for producing a flame, a recessed cavity formed in the body, and a cigar cutter having a planar ring member with a central opening and a thin slot formed therein. A pair of thin cutting blades are received within the slot of the ring member, each blade being movable between a first position in which the cutting blades are substantially withdrawn from the opening and a second position in which the cutting blades are completely received within the opening, so as to effect a shearing or cutting action on a cigar positioned in the opening. Each cutting blade has a handle portion secured thereto for moving the cutting blades between the first and second positions. The ring member of the cigar cutter is pivotally secured to the casing about a vertical axis for movement between an open operative position and a closed non-use position in which the ring member is disposed snugly within the cavity.

[0011] U.S. Pat. No. 5,913,676 to Kim discloses another example of a slicer-type cigar cutter in combination with a lighter. The device of the '676 patent comprises a lighter body adapted to create a flame and defining a slot. A cigar cutter is slidably engaged with the lighter body and slidable between a housed position wherein the cigar cutter is received substantially within the slot and a cutting position wherein the cigar cutter is substantially outside of the lighter body. The cigar cutter includes a cutting knife housing and a cutting knife. A spring-biased stop associated with the cigar cutter releasably locks the cutting knife housing to the lighter body to prevent the cutting knife housing from sliding toward the housed position when the cigar cutter is in the cutting position, and unlocks the cutting knife housing from the lighter body to permit the cutting knife housing to slide from the cutting position toward the housed position. The cigar cutter is substantially concealed by the lighter body when the cigar cutter is in the housed position.

[0012] An example of a core puncher in combination with a lighter is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,298,856 to Park. The lighter of the '856 patent comprises a body and an end portion having a hinged connection with the body. The body includes a recess at its lower end. The end portion includes a cigar cutter, comprising an elongated generally tubular blade, extending from a surface of the end portion. The end portion is movable between a closed position and an open position. In the closed position, the cutter extends within the recess and is not exposed. In the open position, the cutter does not extend into the recess. A lighter fuel inlet valve extends from the body and is within the recess thereof. The inlet valve is accessible through a channel in the end portion when the end portion is closed. The inlet valve is also accessible when the end portion is open.

[0013] Unfortunately, each of the lighters just described presents a significant safety hazard to a smoker attempting to cut a cigar. Operating any of the lighters requires the smoker to place his or her fingers in close proximity to the sharp cutting blades. Further, during the cutting motion the sharp blades move toward the smoker's fingers. Thus, the smoker's fingers are at risk of injury during cutting, especially if the cutter breaks and the blades are suddenly propelled toward the smoker's fingers with great force.

[0014] Therefore, smokers would benefit from a lighter having an integral cigar cutter that does not require the smoker to place his or her fingers close to the blades during cutting. Of further advantage would be a lighter having an integral cigar cutter wherein the blades do not move toward the smoker's fingers during cutting.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0015] The preferred embodiments of the lighter with integral scissors have several features, no single one of which is solely responsible for their desirable attributes. Without limiting the scope of this lighter with integral scissors as expressed by the claims that follow, its more prominent features will now be discussed briefly. After considering this discussion, and particularly after reading the section entitled “Detailed Description of the Preferred Embodiments,” one will understand how the features of the preferred embodiments provide advantages, which include the convenience of a lighter and scissors in one easily transportable package, and greater safety and ease of use over prior lighters including cigar cutters.

[0016] A preferred embodiment of the lighter comprises a lighter body and a scissors attached to the lighter body. The scissors includes at least one curved blade. In another preferred embodiment, the scissors is movable between a folded position in which the scissors is substantially flush with the lighter body, and an unfolded position in which the scissors extends from the lighter body and is configured for cutting. In this embodiment, the unfolded position may be 180° from the folded position.

[0017] In another preferred embodiment, the scissors is pivotably attached to a first surface of the lighter body. In another preferred embodiment, the scissors comprises a first arm and a second arm pivotably attached to the first arm. In another preferred embodiment, the first and second arms each comprise a handle portion and a cutting portion. In another preferred embodiment, the handle portion of the scissors first arm includes a through hole, and the lighter body includes a cylindrical pin protruding from the first surface, and the through hole is disposed about the pin for pivotal movement of the scissors with respect to the lighter body. In another preferred embodiment, a leaf spring is attached to the first surface adjacent the scissors and the leaf spring provides resistance to rotation of the scissors about the pin. In another preferred embodiment, a substantially flat cover is secured to the first surface such that the scissors and leaf spring are disposed between the first surface and the cover. In another preferred embodiment, the cover includes an arcuate indentation along a first edge. In another preferred embodiment, when the scissors are in the folded position, the arcuate indentation exposes a portion of the cutting portion of the second arm. In another preferred embodiment, the exposed portion of the second arm includes a thumb catch adapted to accept a thumbnail of a smoker and facilitate rotation of the scissors from the folded position toward the unfolded position. In this embodiment, the thumb catch may comprise an indentation in a surface of the second arm or a through-hole in the second arm.

[0018] In another preferred embodiment, the scissors first arm includes a substantially flat medial surface that bears against the leaf spring when the scissors is in the folded position such that the leaf spring maintains the scissors in the folded position. In another preferred embodiment, the scissors first arm includes a substantially flat lateral surface, opposite the medial surface, that bears against the leaf spring when the scissors is in the unfolded position such that the leaf spring maintains the scissors in the unfolded position.

[0019] In another preferred embodiment, the scissors comprises a substantially V-shaped leaf spring disposed between the handle portions of the first and second arms, and the leaf spring biases the handle portions away from one another.

[0020] In another preferred embodiment, the lighter body further comprises a transparent window enabling monitoring of a level of fuel within the lighter.

[0021] Another preferred embodiment of the lighter comprises a method of cutting and lighting a cigar with a unitary implement. The method comprises the steps of rotating a scissors of the implement from a first retracted position to a second cutting position, positioning a cigar between blades of the scissors, exerting a force on the scissors to cause the blades to cut the cigar, and lighting the cigar. The method may further comprise the step of rotating the scissors to the first position.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0022] The preferred embodiments of the lighter with integral scissors, illustrating its features, will now be discussed in detail. These embodiments depict the novel and non-obvious lighter with integral scissors shown in the accompanying drawings, which are for illustrative purposes only. These drawings include the following figures, in which like numerals indicate like parts:

[0023]FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the lighter according to the present invention, illustrating the scissors in a partially unfolded configuration;

[0024]FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the lighter of FIG. 1, illustrating the scissors in a folded configuration and the lid in an open configuration;

[0025]FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the lighter of FIG. 1, illustrating the scissors in an unfolded configuration;

[0026]FIG. 4 is a front elevational view of the lighter of FIG. 1;

[0027]FIG. 5 is a right side elevational view of the lighter of FIG. 1;

[0028]FIG. 6 is a left side elevational view of the lighter of FIG. 1;

[0029]FIG. 7 is a r ear elevational view of the lighter of FIG. 1;

[0030]FIG. 8 is a top plan view of the lighter of FIG. 1;

[0031]FIG. 9 is a bottom plan view of the lighter of FIG. 1;

[0032]FIG. 10 is a perspective view of another preferred embodiment of the lighter according to the present invention, illustrating the scissors in a partially unfolded configuration;

[0033]FIG. 11 is a perspective view of the lighter of FIG. 10, illustrating the scissors in a folded configuration;

[0034]FIG. 12 is a front elevational view of the lighter of FIG. 10;

[0035]FIG. 13 is a right side elevational view of the lighter of FIG. 10;

[0036]FIG. 14 is a left side elevational view of the lighter of FIG. 10;

[0037]FIG. 15 is a rear elevational view of the lighter of FIG. 10;

[0038]FIG. 16 is a bottom plan view of the lighter of FIG. 10;

[0039]FIG. 17 is a top plan view of the lighter of FIG. 10;

[0040]FIG. 18 is an exploded perspective view of the lighter of FIG. 1, illustrating a preferred manner of attaching the scissors to the lighter body;

[0041]FIG. 19 is a partially exploded perspective view of the lighter of FIG. 1, illustrating the position of the leaf spring on the rear face of the lighter body;

[0042]FIG. 19A is a partially exploded perspective view of the lighter of FIG. 1, illustrating the position of the leaf spring on the rear face of the lighter body;

[0043]FIG. 20 is a partially exploded perspective view of the lighter of FIG. 1, illustrating the position of the leaf spring and scissors on the rear face of the lighter body;

[0044]FIG. 21 is a partially exploded perspective view of the lighter of FIG. 1, illustrating the scissors in a partially unfolded configuration; and

[0045]FIG. 22 is a partially exploded perspective view of the lighter of FIG. 1, illustrating the scissors in an unfolded configuration.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0046] As illustrated in FIGS. 1-9, a preferred embodiment of the lighter 30 with integral scissors 32 comprises an elongate body 34 and a scissors 32 pivotably attached to the body 34. Because the present lighter 30 includes an integral scissors 32, the lighter 30 advantageously provides a single implement with which cigar smokers can both cut and light their cigars.

[0047] In the illustrated embodiment, a top end 36 of the lighter body 34 includes a cover 38, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. A first hinge portion 40 (FIG. 7) on a rear edge 42 (FIG. 8) of the cover 38 cooperates with a second hinge portion 44 (FIGS. 5 and 6) on a rear edge 46 (FIG. 7) of the top end to pivotably attach the cover 38 to the body 34. The hinge portions 40, 44 preferably include a spring element (not shown) to bias the cover 38 toward an open position pictured in FIG. 2. A catch 48 (FIG. 2) adjacent a front edge 50 of the top end 36 cooperates with a notch (not shown) on an inside front surface 52 of the cover 38 to hold the cover 38 closed when the lighter 30 is not in use. Those of skill in the art will appreciate that a variety of alternate covers, for example, a non spring-loaded cover, could be substituted for the cover 38. FIGS. 10-17 illustrate another preferred embodiment of the lighter 54 including a sliding cover 56. Those of skill in the art will further appreciate that the lighter 30, 54 need not include a cover at all.

[0048] Beneath the cover 38 the first end 36 includes a flame port 58 (FIG. 2). The embodiment of FIGS. 10-17 also includes a flame port 60, as shown in FIG. 11. In the illustrated embodiments, the lighter 30, 54 is a turbo flame lighter. Thus, the flame port 58, 60 includes at least one fuel nozzle (not shown) and a spark generator such as an electronic piezo (not shown). The internal components of the turbo flame lighter are well-known in the art, and will not be described. Further, those of skill in the art will appreciate that the lighter 30, 54 need not be a turbo flame lighter, and that a variety of other structures adapted for producing a flame are within the scope of the present lighter 30, 54.

[0049] On a front surface 62, the lighter body 34 includes an ignition switch 64 (FIGS. 1, 4, 6, 12-14 and 17). The embodiment of FIGS. 10-17 also includes an ignition switch 66 on a front surface 68, as shown in FIG. 10. Those of skill in the art will appreciate that the overall configuration of the lighter 30, 54 is merely exemplary, and that the switch 64, 66 may be located in any of a variety of positions on the lighter 30, 54. Downward pressure applied to the switch 64 releases the catch 48 (FIG. 2), causing the cover 38 to spring open. Downward pressure applied to the switch 66 causes the cover 56 to slide open as shown in FIG. 11. Further downward pressure on the switch 64, 66 begins a flow of fuel from the nozzle into the flame port 58, 60 (FIGS. 2 and 11) and activates the spark generator. A spark from the spark generator preferably ignites the fuel to produce a flame. The flame preferably burns at a temperature hot enough to ignite a typical cigar.

[0050] Near a bottom end 70, the front surface 62, 68 preferably includes a transparent window 72 (FIGS. 2 and 11) that allows a smoker to view the amount of fuel left in an internal fuel reservoir. A surface of the bottom end 70 preferably includes a fuel fill port 74, as shown in FIGS. 9 and 16. When substantially all of the fuel in the reservoir is expended, the smoker refills the lighter 30, 54 through the fill port 74 in a manner well known in the art. Those of skill in the art will appreciate that the window 72 is not necessary to achieve the objects of the lighter 30, 54. Those of skill in the art will further appreciate that the lighter 30, 54 may be a disposable lighter, and may not include a fill port.

[0051] A rear portion 76 (FIGS. 1 and 3) of the lighter body 34 includes a retractable scissors 32 that is preferably pivotably attached and movable from the folded position of FIG. 2, through the intermediate position of FIG. 1, to the unfolded position of FIG. 3. (For ease of reference, the following description refers to the embodiment of FIGS. 1-9. However, the description also applies to the embodiment of FIGS. 10-17.)

[0052] As best seen in the unfolded configuration of FIG. 3, the scissors 32 comprises a first arm 78 and a second arm 80. The first and second arms 78, 80 are pivotably secured to one another near a midpoint of each. In the illustrated embodiment, a screw provides the fulcrum 82 about which the arms 78, 80 pivot. Those of skill in the art will appreciate, however, that another type of fulcrum 82, such as a pin or a rivet, might work equally well.

[0053] Each arm 78, 80 comprises a handle portion 84, 86 on a first side of the fulcrum 82, and a blade portion 88, 90 on a second side of the fulcrum 82. The blade portions 88, 90 of each arm 78, 80 are substantially identical. Each comprises a flat plate which is substantially rectangular in front elevation aspect except for an arcuate indentation 92 in a first long side. An edge of each arm 78, 80 comprising the arcuate indentation 92 is preferably very thin and sharp. The arcuate indentations 92 thus comprise blades, which are capable of slicing through objects, such as cigars, when squeezed together.

[0054] The second arm 80 includes a thumbnail catch 94 (FIGS. 3, 7 and 15) adjacent an edge opposite the arcuate indentation 92. The catch 94 provides a surface against which a smoker can apply a force to unfold the scissors 32, as described below. In the illustrated embodiment, the catch 94 comprises a cutout that is substantially semi-ovalshaped in rear plan aspect (FIG. 7). Those of skill in the art will appreciate that the catch 94 may be any of a variety of shapes. Those of skill in the art will also appreciate that the catch 94 may comprise an indentation in a surface of the arm 80 or a protrusion from a surface of the arm 80, rather than a through-hole. Preferably, however, the catch 94 is suitably shaped and sized to provide a surface against which a smoker's thumbnail may bear in order to pivot the scissors 32. Of course, a user may use any other finger besides a thumb to pivot the scissors 32.

[0055] The handle portion 84, 86 of each arm 78, 80 preferably comprises a thin elongate bar. A portion (indicated by the arrows in FIG. 3) of each handle 84, 86 remote from the fulcrum 82 provides a surface adequate for receiving a thumb and forefinger of a smoker. Pressure applied to the handles 84, 86 as indicated by the arrows in FIG. 3 squeezes the handles 84, 86, and also the blades 88, 90, together. A substantially V-shaped leaf spring 96 disposed between the two arms 78, 80 biases the handles 84, 86, and also the blades 88, 90, away from each other. The spring 96 thus assists a smoker in separating the blades 88, 90 prior to cutting an object.

[0056] A first end 98 of the leaf spring is coiled (FIG. 1), and the coil 98 is held securely within a substantially circular opening 100 on the first arm 78. In the illustrated embodiment, the coil 98 is held within the opening 100 via a friction fit. Those of skill in the art will appreciate that the coil 98 could be held within the opening via alternative means, such as with an adhesive. Those of skill in the art will further appreciate that the spring 96 need not be held within an opening, but could be attached to an exterior surface of the first arm 78.

[0057] The leaf spring 96 is preferably not connected to the second arm 80, so that the second arm 80 is freely movable to an orientation such that the blades 88, 90 are very far apart. The scissors 32 is thus adapted to cut wide objects, such as wide-gauge cigars.

[0058]FIG. 18, which is an exploded view of the lighter 30, illustrates a preferred manner of attaching the scissors 32 to the lighter body 34. The body 34 includes a substantially flat rear face 102 upon which the scissors 32 is mounted. A rear cover 104 comprising a substantially flat plate is secured to the rear face 102 such that the scissors 32 is sandwiched between the rear face 102 and the cover 104. A side edge 106 of the cover 104 includes an arcuate indentation 108 near a first end 36 of the lighter 30. As best seen in FIG. 7, the indentation 108 exposes the thumbnail catch 94, which a smoker uses to unfold the scissors 32, as described below.

[0059] A cylindrical pin 110 adjacent the bottom end 70 protrudes from the rear face 102. In the illustrated embodiment, the pin 110 is tubular, and includes threads on an inside surface. An end 112 of the handle portion 84 of the scissors first arm 78 opposite the blade portion 88 includes a round hole 114. This hole 114 is mounted about the pin 110, as shown in FIGS. 20-22, such that the scissors 32 is pivotable about the pin 110. To pivot the scissors 32 from the folded position (FIG. 2) to the unfolded position (FIG. 3), a smoker inserts a fingernail or thumbnail into the catch 94 and pulls the scissors 32 in the direction of the arrow shown in FIG. 7.

[0060] In the illustrated embodiment, an annular washer 116 is mounted about the pin 110 such that the washer 116 is sandwiched between the first arm 78 and the cover 104. The washer 116 is preferably made of a low-friction material, such as a plastic. The washer 116 reduces the friction between the first arm 78 and the cover 104, allowing the scissors 32 to pivot more easily. Those of skill in the art will appreciate that the washer 116 is not necessary to achieve the advantages of the present lighter 30, 54.

[0061] A leaf spring 118, comprising a substantially flat elongate bar, is mounted to the rear face 102 adjacent the scissors 32, as shown in FIGS. 19-22. The leaf spring 118 retains the scissors 32 in the folded position, as shown in FIG. 20, but allows the scissors 32 to be unfolded as described below. In the illustrated embodiment, the leaf spring 118 includes an indentation 120 (FIG. 18) near a center of a first edge 122. The indentation 120 is substantially semi-oval in rear elevation aspect. Those of skill in the art will appreciate, however, that the indentation 120 could be any of a variety of shapes. The indentation 120 engages a post 124 that protrudes from the rear face 102 (FIGS. 18, 19 and 19A). The post 124 is located near a center of a long edge 126 of the rear face 102. A shape of the post 124 in rear elevation aspect is preferably complementary to the shape of the indentation 120 in the leaf spring 118.

[0062] A medial surface 128 of a first end 130 of the spring 118 (FIG. 18) abuts a tab 132 (FIG. 19A) that extends from the cover assembly near the first end 36 of the lighter body 34. Thus, with the leaf spring 118 properly positioned on the rear face 102 of the lighter body 34 as shown in FIGS. 19 and 19A, a force (indicated by the arrow in FIG. 19A) applied to the medial surface 128 of a second end 134 of the spring 118 creates a three-point bending load upon the spring 118 and causes the spring 118 to flex about the post 124.

[0063] The scissors 32 are mounted to the rear face 102 adjacent the leaf spring 118 such that the scissors 32 are rotatable about the pin 110 as shown in FIGS. 20-22. A substantially flat medial face 136 of the scissors' first arm 78 abuts the substantially flat medial face 128 of the leaf spring 118 near the second end 134 when the scissors 32 are in the folded position shown in FIG. 20. The leaf spring 118 thus maintains the scissors 32 in the folded position and prevents the scissors 32 from unfolding accidentally.

[0064] To unfold the scissors 32, a smoker places his or her thumbnail within the catch 94 and applies a force in the direction of the arrow shown in FIG. 7. The force rotates the scissors 32 about the pin 110. As the scissors 32 unfold, a comer 138 of the medial face 136 adjacent a posterior end 140 of the first arm 78 bears against the medial face 128 of the leaf spring 118 near the second end 134. The leaf spring 118 flexes about the post 124, as described above, and provides resistance to rotation of the scissors 32. This interengagement of the first arm 78 and the leaf spring 118 provides the resistance to rotation that maintains the scissors 32 in the folded position of FIG. 20.

[0065] When the scissors 32 is further unfolded to the intermediate position shown in FIG. 21, the posterior face 140 of the first arm 78 bears against the medial face 128 of the leaf spring 118 near the second end 134. The posterior face 140 is rounded in plan aspect, which allows the scissors 32 to rotate relatively easily near the intermediate position of FIG. 21. However, a lateral face 142 of the first arm 78 opposite the medial face 136 is substantially flat. Thus, rotation of the scissors 32 toward the fully extended configuration of FIG. 22, causes a comer 144 of the first arm 78 between the posterior face 140 and lateral face 142 to bear against the medial face 128 of the spring 118 near the second end 134. The comer 144 provides resistance to rotation of the scissors 32 in the same manner as the comer 138, described above.

[0066] When the scissors 32 reaches the fully extended configuration shown in FIG. 22, the lateral face 142 of the first arm 78 abuts the medial face 128 of the spring 118 near the second end 134. A shoulder 146 of the first arm 78, adjacent to and substantially perpendicular to the lateral face 142, abuts the end 134 of the leaf spring 118. The lateral face 142 maintains the scissors 32 in the unfolded position in the same manner that the medial face 136 maintains the scissors 32 in the folded position (FIG. 20). The interengagement of the shoulder 146 and the second end 134 prevents the scissors 32 from rotating any further.

[0067] When the scissors 32 is used to cut an object, such as a cigar, it is preferably in the unfolded position shown in FIG. 3. In this position, the lighter body 34 does not obstruct the pivoting of the second arm 80. The blades 88, 90 may thus be opened wide to cut wide objects, and the blades 88, 90 may be brought together to completely slice through objects. Furthermore, because the scissors 32 extends in the direction of a longitudinal axis of the lighter body 34 when in the unfolded position, a smoker can hold the lighter body 34 in the palm of his or her hand while operating the scissors 32 with his or her thumb and forefinger. The lighter body 34 thus provides a convenient handle and decreases the likelihood that the scissors 32 may slip out of the user's hand and cause injury.

[0068] In addition to this safety feature, the present lighter 30, 54 with integral scissors 32 provides further advantages over prior lighters incorporating cigar cutters. The scissors 32 provides a user with a mechanical advantage. A squeezing force applied to the handles 84, 86 produces a resultant force (Fr) between the blades 88, 90 equal to the magnitude of the applied force (Fa) multiplied by the perpendicular distance between the fulcrum 82 and the applied force (d1) divided by the perpendicular distance between the fulcrum 82 and the object being cut (d2). Thus, as long as d1 is greater than d2, then an applied squeezing force will produce a cutting force of greater magnitude. In the present lighter 30, 54, d1 is preferably greater than d2, such that a user need only apply a light squeezing force to cut any object.

[0069] The scissors 32 of the present lighter 30, 54 are also safer to use than the cutters incorporated into prior lighters. With the present scissors 32, a user applies a squeezing force at a point spaced far from the sharp cutting blades 88, 90. Further, the cutting action occurs in a direction parallel to the user's hands, rather than toward the user's hands. Thus, if any unexpected disturbances occur during cutting, such as the scissors 32 breaking, or the user being bumped by another person in a crowded room, the scissors 32 are unlikely to injure the user.

[0070] The scissors 32 of the present lighter 30, 54 are also easy to maintain. The scissors 32 require virtually no maintenance other than occasional cleaning and sharpening. The blades 88, 90 can be cleaned by simply wiping with a cloth, and the blades 88, 90 can be sharpened without disassembling the lighter 30, 54.

Scope of the Invention

[0071] The above presents a description of the best mode contemplated for the present lighter with integral scissors, and of the manner and process of making and using it, in such full, clear, concise, and exact terms as to enable any person skilled in the art to which it pertains to make and use this lighter with integral scissors. This lighter with integral scissors is, however, susceptible to modifications and alternate constructions from that discussed above which are fully equivalent. Consequently, it is not the intention to limit this lighter with integral scissors to the particular embodiments disclosed. On the contrary, the intention is to cover all modifications and alternate constructions coming within the spirit and scope of the lighter with integral scissors as generally expressed by the following claims, which particularly point out and distinctly claim the subject matter of the lighter with integral scissors.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7104785Feb 14, 2006Sep 12, 2006Feaser Wendy SCandlewick trimmer
US7249390Jan 7, 2005Jul 31, 2007Leatherman Tool Group, Inc.Multipurpose tool including holder for replaceable tool blades
US7530129May 1, 2007May 12, 2009Leatherman Tool Group, Inc.Multipurpose tool including holder for replaceable tool blades
US7926136May 3, 2007Apr 19, 2011Leatherman Tool Group, Inc.Multipurpose tool including holder for replaceable tool blades
Classifications
U.S. Classification131/249, 431/253
International ClassificationF23Q2/32
Cooperative ClassificationF23Q2/32
European ClassificationF23Q2/32
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Apr 1, 2002ASAssignment
Owner name: PROMETHEUS INTERNATIONAL, INC., CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:PARK, KEITH K.H.;REEL/FRAME:012770/0708
Effective date: 20020329