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Publication numberUS20070238532 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/208,762
Publication dateOct 11, 2007
Filing dateAug 23, 2005
Priority dateMar 1, 2002
Publication number11208762, 208762, US 2007/0238532 A1, US 2007/238532 A1, US 20070238532 A1, US 20070238532A1, US 2007238532 A1, US 2007238532A1, US-A1-20070238532, US-A1-2007238532, US2007/0238532A1, US2007/238532A1, US20070238532 A1, US20070238532A1, US2007238532 A1, US2007238532A1
InventorsKenneth Stethem
Original AssigneeStethem Kenneth J
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Modular personal defense device
US 20070238532 A1
Abstract
The modular personal defense device is a hard, rigid, elongate baton that is capable of imparting impact force to an assailant or threat. The exterior may include a series of strengthening ribs, which may also impart further damage to an assailant. The interior is an essentially hollow cylinder configured to accept one of a series of modules. The modules are essentially externally physically identical, but include different electronic circuitry and mechanisms to provide different functions. A silicone controlled rectifier (SCR) electronic stun circuit is provided by one module, for imparting a stunning electrical shock and dissuading an assailant(s) due to the electrical arc produced. Another module produces an extremely bright light either continuously or in rapid pulses, to blind and disorient an assailant. Yet another module produces a piercing sound, while still other modules may be fitted axially or radially to the device to transmit an irritant spray.
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Claims(20)
1. A modular personal defense device, comprising:
a hard, rigid, elongate, hollow baton having a handle portion with a handle end and an impact portion opposite the handle portion and handle end;
a replaceable output module removably installed within the impact portion of said baton; and
an output end cap removably disposed upon the impact portion opposite the handle end, the end cap securing the output module within the impact portion of the baton.
2. The modular personal defense device according to claim 1, further including at least one lethal weapon attachment fitting disposed upon said baton.
3. The modular personal defense device according to claim 1, further including an elongate extension rod selectively attached concentrically to the handle end, the extension rod having a distal end and an irritant spray cartridge chamber defined in the distal end adapted for receiving an irritant spray cartridge.
4. The modular personal defense device according to claim 1, further including:
an irritant spray canister removably attached to, and radially disposed from, the impact portion of said baton, said canister having an output end; and
a directionally adjustable outlet and guard cap assembly disposed over the output end of said irritant spray canister.
5. The modular personal defense device according to claim 1, further including a plurality of impact ribs longitudinally and externally disposed along the impact portion of said baton.
6. The modular personal defense device according to claim 1, wherein said output module is selected from the group consisting of high intensity electrical discharge modules, high intensity sound emitting modules, and high intensity light emitting modules.
7. The modular personal defense device according to claim 1, wherein said handle end defines a battery compartment having electrical contacts adapted for mating with electrical contacts disposed on said output module, the device further including:
an output module master switch; and
an output module interrupt switch, the master switch and the interrupt switch being connected in series with the battery compartment electrical contacts.
8. A modular personal defense device, comprising:
a hard, rigid, elongate, hollow baton having a handle portion with a handle end and an impact portion opposite the handle portion and handle end;
a battery removably installed within the handle;
a plurality of external electrical contacts located on an output end cap disposed on the impact portion opposite the handle end; and
an electrical discharge module removably installed within the impact portion, the electrical discharge module comprising a silicon controlled rectifier in circuit with the battery to conduct a substantially constant electrical discharge across the plurality of external electrical contacts.
9. The modular personal defense device according to claim 8, wherein:
the output end cap is removably disposed upon the impact portion opposite the handle end, the end cap securing said electrical discharge module within the impact portion of said baton.
10. The modular personal defense device according to claim 8, further including an elongate extension rod selectively attached concentrically to the handle end of said baton, the extension rod having a distal end, the distal end having an irritant spray cartridge chamber defined therein adapted for receiving an irritant spray cartridge.
11. The modular personal defense device according to claim 8, further including:
an irritant spray canister removably attached to, and radially extending from, the impact portion of said baton, the canister having an output end; and
a directionally adjustable outlet and guard cap assembly disposed over the output end of the irritant spray canister.
12. The modular personal defense device according to claim 8, further including a plurality of impact ribs longitudinally and externally disposed along the impact portion of said baton.
13. (canceled)
14. The modular personal defense device according to claim 8, further including:
an electrical discharge module master switch; and
an electrical discharge module interrupt switch, the master switch and the interrupt switch being connected in series with the battery.
15. A modular personal defense device, comprising:
a hard, rigid, elongate, hollow baton having a handle portion with a handle end and an impact portion opposite the handle portion and handle end; and
an elongate extension rod selectively attached concentrically to the handle end of said baton, the extension rod having a distal end, the distal end having an irritant spray cartridge chamber defined therein adapted for receiving an irritant spray cartridge.
16. The modular personal defense device according to claim 15, further including:
a replaceable output module removably installed within the impact portion of said baton; and
an output end cap removably disposed upon the impact portion opposite the handle end, the end cap securing said output module within the impact portion of said baton.
17. The modular personal defense device according to claim 15, further including at least one lethal weapon attachment fitting disposed upon said baton.
18. The modular personal defense device according to claim 15, further including:
an irritant spray canister removably attached to and radially extending from the impact portion of said baton, said canister having an output end; and
a directionally adjustable outlet and guard cap assembly disposed over the output end of said irritant spray canister.
19. The modular personal defense device according to claim 15, further including a plurality of impact ribs longitudinally and externally disposed along the impact portion of said baton.
20. The modular personal defense device according to claim 15, wherein:
said output module is selected from the group consisting of high intensity electrical discharge modules, high intensity sound emitting modules, and high intensity light emitting modules;
said handle end defines a battery compartment having electrical contacts adapted for mating with electrical contacts disposed on said output module; and
said baton further includes an output module master switch and an output module interrupt switch connected in series with the battery compartment electrical contacts.
Description
REFERENCE TO RELATED PATENT APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/938,553 filed on Sep. 13, 2004, which is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/375,075 filed on Feb. 28, 2003, which issued Sep. 14, 2004 as U.S. Pat. No. 6,791,816, and which is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/084,972, filed on Mar. 1, 2002, which issued Nov. 4, 2003 as U.S. Pat. No. 6,643,114.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to nonlethal weaponry and/or personal protective devices. More particularly, the present device comprises a rigid, elongate nightstick or club configuration having a series of interchangeable modules for affecting the senses of an assailant. The device may be used conventionally as a handheld impact weapon, i.e., nightstick or the like, and/or may be used with various interchangeable modules as a high voltage stun device, high intensity light or sound emitting device, and/or irritant spray device.

2. Description of the Rekated Art

The use of blunt instruments (nightsticks, etc.) by police and other personnel for crowd control and for subduing other individuals has been known for generations. Very little has been done over the years to improve such handheld impact weapons, other than changing the mass of different portions to impart greater force upon impact. More recently, electronic devices have been developed that transform a relatively low battery voltage into a considerably higher voltage for use as an electrical stunning device. Such devices are quite effective in subduing a threatening individual, or even a small crowd, as the audible and visual impression generated by the electrical arc across the contacts is quite intimidating.

Other non-lethal crowd control and defensive weaponry has been developed in the relatively recent past, as well. For example, it has been found that extremely bright light focused relatively closely in the eyes of a potentially threatening individual, particularly in relatively darkened areas, greatly reduces the threat due to the temporary obscuration of the threatening individual's vision. So-called “pepper sprays,” using capsaicin oils or essences of various pepper plants, have also been used to impair a potential assailant's vision by chemical means rather than optical means. Still another deterrent has been developed, wherein a piercing sound is emitted to temporarily distract and confuse a potential assailant or threat.

Each of the above noted principles or systems may have a greater or lesser effect in different circumstances. An obvious example is where the assailant has a weapon, and it is not desirable to approach the individual close enough to contact him or her with an impact baton or electrical stun device. In such situations, the use of intense audio, visual, or chemical effects may be sufficient. In other instances, direct contact using a baton and/or electrical stun device may be required.

Generally, the most suitable device or principle for use in a given situation is not known very far in advance. Thus, police, security personnel, military, and others who may have need for such devices must carry (or at least have access to) all such devices, in addition to their issued firearm(s) and other equipment. Obviously, the weight and bulk of such multiple systems would greatly impede the movement of such security personnel and could put such security personnel at greater risk due to the physical handicap imposed by such an excessive load of equipment.

It will be recognized from the above discussion that some means of reducing the sheer number of different articles that must be carried, and/or combining such articles in some way, would be very desirable. The present invention provides a solution to this problem by means of a modular system in which various modules providing various optical, chemical, and/or auditory transmitters may be installed and used as desired in a single rigid housing. The device also provides for an extension for greater versatility as well.

A discussion of the related art of which the present inventor is aware, and its differences and distinctions from the present invention, is provided below.

U.S. Pat. No. 427,549 issued on May 13, 1890 to John M. Burton, titled “Electric Prod Pole,” describes two embodiments of such a device. The first embodiment of FIG. 1 is a very low voltage device, as it relies upon an “element B” (taken to be an electrical storage cell), but does not include any means of inverting the current for stepping up the voltage. The second embodiment uses a mechanical generating device, rather than a battery. In any event, the device of the Burton '549 U.S. Patent is quite long and thin, and is not adapted for use as an impact weapon in addition to its electrical prod function.

U.S. Pat. No. 769,880 issued on Sep. 13, 1904 to Everett J. Trout, titled “Club Or Baton,” describes a nightstick-type device having a series of rows of selectively retractable and extendible spikes. The handle is turned to actuate a cam to extend or retract the spikes as desired. This prevents an assailant or threat from grabbing the baton when the spikes are extended, yet permits the device to be used as a club when the spikes are retracted, without doing serious damage.

U.S. Pat. No. 1,158,473 issued on Nov. 2, 1915 to William B. Floyd, titled “Electric Animal Prod,” describes a device similar to that of the Burton '549 U.S. Patent described further above. The Floyd prod is also a relatively long and thin device, with electrical storage batteries carried in a larger diameter handle portion. No appreciable mass is provided in the distal portion of the device, as it is desired to make the distal portion as light as possible in such devices to facilitate maneuverability. This teaches away from the present invention, with its relatively massive distal portion to provide relatively large inertial forces for use as an impact weapon, as well as providing the desired strength and durability for the device.

U.S. Pat. No. 1,823,407 issued on Sep. 15, 1931 to Duane L. Potter, titled “Police Stick,” describes a device having selectively retractable and extendible blades along the majority of its length.

U.S. Pat. No. 2,176,994 issued on Oct. 24, 1939 to Lorentz A. Hansen et al., titled “Electric Stock Prod,” describes a device utilizing a conventional capacitor and vibrator points for producing an alternating current from the direct current of the electrical storage batteries within the device. A coil having primary and secondary windings is used to step up the voltage to the desired level. This device is capable of producing a continuous array of high voltage discharges, unlike the devices discussed further above. While the circuitry of the Hansen et al. device is old in the art, such circuitry or its equivalents may be used in the present invention, and the disclosure of such is incorporated herein by reference. However, Hansen et al. do not disclose a relatively massive barrel portion for use as an impact weapon, nor other means (blades, etc.) for such impact function.

U.S. Pat. No. 2,208,852 issued on Jul. 23, 1940 to Leon P. Mongan, titled “Electric Prodder,” describes a combination device including a voltage step-up circuit and light circuit, each powered by the same battery power source. The electrical voltage step-up circuitry is essentially the same as that used by Hansen et al. and disclosed in the '994 U.S. Patent discussed immediately above. This basic circuitry may be used with the present invention, as noted above. In any case, Mongan does not provide any means for using his device as an impact weapon, and further teaches away from the first embodiment of the present stun device by providing an open circuit until one of the contacts is pushed in. The normally closed high intensity electrical circuit of the first embodiment of the present personal defense device invention may be desirable in certain circumstances where the user must manipulate the device as an impact weapon simultaneously with actuation of the high voltage electrical discharge, in that the user need not position his or her hand specifically to hold the switch while also manipulating the device. The visual and audible effects of the electrical arcing are actuated under such circumstances to provide a deterrent effect, regardless of the position of the user's hand on the switch.

U.S. Pat. No. 2,266,606 issued on Dec. 16, 1941 to Frederick D. Jones, titled “Patrol Stick,” describes a nightstick-type device with a series of fixed spikes extending radially therefrom, with a normally extended guard therealong. If an assailant or threat grabs the barrel of the stick, he or she applies pressure to the guard, causing the guard to retract and the spikes to be exposed. The device is, thus, more closely related to the device of the Trout '880 U.S. Patent, discussed further above, than to the present invention.

U.S. Pat. No. 2,561,122 issued on Jul. 17, 1951 to John Juergens, titled “Livestock Prod,” describes a device having a spring-mounted distal end with a selectively operable light source concentric with the annular electrical contact probes. The light and electric contacts are operated by a single double-throw switch. Thus, either the light or the electrical contacts may be actuated, but not both simultaneously. Moreover, the resiliently mounted distal end teaches away from the rigid, massive structure of the present personal defense device invention, which may also be used as an impact weapon.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,362,711 issued on Jan. 9, 1968 to LaVerne M. Larsen et al., titled “Night Stick With Electric Shock Means,” describes a stick having external high voltage wiring, as well as the conventional high voltage contacts extending from the distal end of the stick. The object of the Larsen et al. stick is to prevent unauthorized persons from grasping the stick and pulling it from the grip of the officer or other person controlling the stick. Larsen et al. disclose a transistorized circuit for controlling electrical power in their nightstick, but no means of providing alternating current to produce a continuing series of discharges is disclosed. The Larsen et al. nightstick requires that the actuating switch be closed each time a single electrical pulse is desired, with the electrical energy dissipating as the switch remains closed and voltage stabilizes through the transformer coil.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,625,222 issued on Dec. 7, 1971 to Kunio Shimizu, titled “Baton-Type Arrest Device,” describes a device having a pair of electrically conductive needles selectively extendible from one end thereof. No electrical switch is provided, except by means of current flow between the two contacts. Shimizu states that by penetrating the skin, the electrical current administered may be much less to gain the desired affect than that achieved with skin contact electrodes. Accordingly, no voltage step up is provided by Shimizu. Also, while Shimizu provides an axially placed light in one end of his nightstick, the light cannot be directed radially from the side of the device.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,819,108 issued on Jun. 25, 1974 to Richard J. Jordan, titled “Crowd Control Stick,” describes a device bearing some resemblance to the night stick of the Larsen et al. '711 U.S. Patent, discussed further above. The Jordan stick also includes external high voltage wiring to preclude an unauthorized person from grabbing the stick and taking it from the operator. However, the Jordan stick utilizes a capacitor discharge system for producing the higher voltages desired. In any event, the Jordan stick still differs from the present device in that the power supply for the Jordan device must be provided as a separate unit and connected to the stick with a cable. Also, Jordan does not provide any form of lighting means, impact enhancing means, or interchangeable modules for different functions with his stick.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,092,695 issued on May 30, 1978 to Gary A. Henderson et al., titled “Electrical Shocking Device,” describes a relatively small and lightweight device including transistorized circuitry for producing a high voltage, low amperage current capable of producing an electric shock to a person contacting the electrodes. The Henderson et al. device is only about ten inches long and less than an inch in diameter, and weighs less than five ounces (col. 3, lines 41-43). Such size and weight is not suitable for use as an impact weapon, nightstick, or billy club, whereas the present device provides sufficient mass and size to be useful as an impact weapon as well.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,424,932 issued on Jan. 10, 1984 to Gerald F. Allen, titled “Electric Shock Prod,” describes a device incorporating conventional transistorized circuitry, which disclosure is incorporated herein by reference as yet another means of providing the high voltage output required for the operation of the present invention. The Allen prod differs from others in that the extension is a relatively thin and flexible blade. This construction clearly teaches away from the aim of the present invention, i.e., to serve as a nightstick or impact weapon as well as being useful as an electrical stun device. Allen does not disclose any form of lighting for his prod device.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,479,171 issued on Oct. 23, 1984 to Gregg B. Mains, titled “Side Arm Baton And Flashlight,” describes a relatively long, cylindrical device having battery storage space therein, a light at one end thereof, and a radially extended handle with a light switch at the end thereof. No means of producing or dispensing a high voltage electrical current or shock is provided by Mains for his light and baton combination.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,486,807 issued on Dec. 4, 1984 to Serge J. Yanez, titled “Non-Lethal Self Defense Device,” describes various embodiments of an electrical stun apparatus, having different configurations. Yanez includes a light with his electrical discharge apparatus, but the light is not intended to provide any real degree of illumination for the person using the device. Rather, the Yanez light pulses or flashes with the voltage output, producing a series of flashes to temporarily blind an assailant. Accordingly, no separate switch is provided to operate the light for the Yanez device; both the light and the electrical voltage output (and an audible alarm, when installed) are controlled by a single switch, unlike the present invention.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,667,431 issued on May 26, 1987 to Lyle J. Mendicino, titled “Shark Prod,” describes an electrical device that emits a relatively low voltage (around 500 volts) and high amperage (1-5 amps), in comparison with electrical stun devices and cattle prods. This is because the diver is also subject to the electrical current, particularly in the salty ocean environment of sharks. Accordingly, Mendicino teaches away from the use of a high voltage, low amperage current as used by the present invention. Moreover, the only light provided by Mendicino is an annunciator light to indicate operation of the device, and actual actuation of the electrical circuitry is accomplished by contact with the probes, rather than by means of an operator controlled switch.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,719,534 issued on Jan. 12, 1988 to Gary S. Ward, titled “Electric Shock Safety Device,” describes a stun type device having a telescoping probe end, with the probe comprising a series of mutually telescoping elements. The Ward device is more intended for use by joggers and bicyclists against threatening dogs and the like. The relatively thin and extended telescoped probe cannot provide the required strength for use as an impact weapon (night stick or the like), as provided by the present multipurpose device. Moreover, Ward does not provide any form of lighting with his device.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,842,277 issued on Jun. 27, 1989 to Eugene F. LaCroix, titled “Multi-Purpose Baton,” describes a device somewhat resembling the flashlight and baton apparatus of the Mains '171 U.S. Patent, with its laterally disposed handgrip. However, LaCroix also provides a series of longitudinally disposed electrical conductors along the length of the device, similarly to the configuration of the device of the Jordan '108 U.S. Patent discussed further above. LaCroix also provides a light having sufficient intensity to temporarily blind a potential assailant, rather than to provide any useful illumination for the user of the device. At least one embodiment of the present personal defense device may incorporate such a high intensity light, with the light also providing illumination as desired or required. The lateral extension of the LaCroix device does not facilitate its use as an impact weapon, as provided by the generally cylindrical configuration of the present device.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,467,247 issued on Nov. 14, 1995 to Richard N. de Anda et al., titled “Electronic Stunning Apparatus,” describes a device having concealed electrical contacts that are not exposed until the device is pressed against another body. The de Anda et al. device is relatively small, being about the size of a flashlight. It is thus not suitable for use as an impact weapon, as provided by the present invention. The de Anda et al. device more closely resembles the relatively small device disclosed in the '695 U.S. Patent to Henderson et al., than it does the present personal defense device. Moreover, de Anda et al. do not disclose any form of lighting with their device, and the concealed electrical contacts cannot provide a visible display of electrical discharge to dissuade a potential attacker.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,654,867 issued on Aug. 5, 1997 to John H. Murray, titled “Immobilization Weapon,” describes a handheld device with a pair of elongated flexible electrodes and a set of electrodes that can be ballistically fired at another person in order to deliver an electrical shock remotely. The Murray device has a square section, pistol grip configuration with a relatively short upper portion for firing the ballistically delivered electrodes. The two elongated electrodes extending from the Murray device extend from the top of the device above the pistol grip portion. The physical configuration of the Murray device does not enable it to be used as an impact weapon, e.g., nightstick, etc., as can the present device.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,962,806 issued on Oct. 5, 1999 to Peter G. Coakley et al., titled “Non-Lethal Projectile For Delivering An Electric Shock To A Living Target,” describes a series of embodiments for ballistically launching an independent device capable of delivering an electric shock to a living target. The shocking device of the Coakley et al. apparatus is not connected to the firing weapon in any way, as by wires, etc., as used in some projectile firing devices of the related art. Thus, the electrical device cannot be controlled once it leaves the weapon. Also, while Coakley et al. disclose baton and flashlight embodiments of their projectile and delivery device, they do not provide a device having all of the features of the present invention.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,986,872 issued on Nov. 16, 1999 to Eugene M. Chaput, titled “Multi-Component Electric Stunning Umbrella,” describes a device having electrical storage cell and electronic component means in the handle, with electrical wiring extending up the relatively narrow shaft thereof to a distal tip having a pair of stunning electrodes therein. A more or less conventional umbrella is extendible from the tip, permitting the device to be used as an umbrella as desired. A hard plastic cover may be installed over the folded umbrella, as desired. Chaput states that this hard plastic cover permits the device to be used as a baton or impact weapon, but this would require that the plastic sleeve be installed over the folded umbrella whenever the potential need of an impact weapon was foreseen. Moreover, while Chaput provides additional electrodes along the sides of the impact sleeve, he does not provide any additional ribs or blades to increase the effectiveness of the device as an impact weapon, as provided by the present personal defense device.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,022,120 issued on Feb. 8, 2000 to Hung-Yi Chang, titled “Lighting Device For A Stun Gun,” describes a separate flashlight type device with the light beam oriented axially relative to the remainder of the device. The Chang assembly cannot be used as an impact weapon, as it is relatively short and compact, with the operating switches located at the approximate midpoints along the opposite sides thereof.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,091,597 issued on Jul. 18, 2000 to Ming-Chen Lin, titled “Structure Of An Electric Shock Device,” describes a device having a series of selectively extendible telescoping sections. The sections each have electrodes extending along their opposite sides, but no tip electrodes are provided. Also, while the Lin device includes a flashlight, the light is oriented parallel to the length of the device, rather than being radially disposed to the length of the device. Moreover, the hollow telescoping tubes of the Lin device do not appear to provide sufficient strength for use as an impact weapon (baton, etc.), and Lin makes no disclosure or claim of such function for his device.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,256,916 issued on Jul. 10, 2001 to Thomas V. McNulty, titled “Stun Gun,” describes a device having a short, pistol grip configuration with a trapezoidal head extending therefrom. The two electrical contacts are on adjacent faces of the trapezoid, angularly separated from one another. McNulty states that this causes the trapezoidal shape to compress the muscle tissue of the subject before both contacts are in contact with the skin, thus providing a greater electric shock effect and muscle contraction. The McNulty device more closely resembles the device of the '867 U.S. Patent to Murray, discussed further above, than it does the present invention. McNulty also provides a ballistically fired device having electrical stunning contacts with his device. However, the relatively short length of the McNulty stun device is not suitable for use as an impact weapon or baton, and no lighting means is provided by McNulty for his device.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,293,684 issued on Sep. 25, 2001 to Edward L. Riblett, titled “Wand Light,” describes a signaling light housed in an elongate baton or the like. The colors and intensities of the lights may be selectively adjusted as desired.

U.S. Pat. No. D-255,139 issued on May 27, 1980 to James A. Smith, titled “Electric Baton For Law Enforcement Personnel,” illustrates a design comprising a relatively short, generally cylindrical device. An electrical switch is apparently provided at about the midpoint of the device, which further precludes its use as an impact weapon or baton. No additional impact ribs, blades, or lighting means are apparent in the Smith design.

U.S. Pat. No. D-273,216 issued on Mar. 27, 1984 to Harold S. Sinrod, titled “Multi-Purpose Defense Baton,” illustrates various embodiments of a design comprising a relatively narrow, elongated cylindrical shape with a hand guard between a handle portion and longer distal portion. No electrical function of any sort is apparent in the Sinrod design.

U.S. Pat. No. D-289,313 issued on Apr. 14, 1987 to More Shy, titled “Hand-Held Electric Prod,” illustrates a design having a generally cylindrical shape with a hand guard adjacent one end. No disclosure is made of any function as an impact weapon, nor is any lighting means shown for the design. The Shy design more closely resembles the design of the '216 U.S. Design Patent to Sinrod, discussed above, than it does the present invention.

U.S. Pat. No. D-329,510 issued on Sep. 15, 1992 to Hsiung Lin, tiled “Hand-Held Electric Prod,” illustrates a design comprising a relatively short, generally cylindrical device having a hand guard between a handle portion and distal portion. The Lin device thus more closely resembles the device of the de Anda et al. '247 U.S. Patent, discussed further above, than it does the present personal defense device. While no statement of such is made in the Lin Design Patent, it appears that the electrodes are disposed along the opposite sides of the distal end portion of the device, rather than from the end, as in the present device.

U.S. Pat. No. D-351,640 issued on Oct. 18, 1994 to Richard N. de Anda et al., titled “Electronic Stunning Weapon,” illustrates a design apparently identical to the device of the '247 U.S. Utility Patent issued to the same inventors and filed on even date, discussed further above. The same points of difference raised in the discussion of the de Anda et al. '247 U.S. Utility Patent, are seen to apply here as well.

Finally, British Patent Publication No. 2,196,728 published on May 5, 1988 to Chun Chang Kuo, titled “Flash Light,” describes an apparatus which is actually a combination of several devices. The Kuo apparatus includes an axial flashlight, as well as selectively extendible electrical probes for the device to serve as a stun weapon if so desired. Moreover, the Kuo apparatus includes an audible warning system, e.g., a buzzer or siren, and the flashlight may be used as a visual warning device as well. However, Kuo makes no statement or claim that his apparatus is suitable for use as an impact weapon (baton, etc.). The light is disposed in the distal end of the device, and it is questionable whether the light, as well as other componentry, would stand up to the forces resulting from use of the device as an impact weapon.

None of the above inventions and patents, taken either singly or in combination, is seen to describe the instant invention as claimed. Thus, a modular personal defense device solving the aforementioned problems is desired.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The modular personal defense device provides a wide array of different functions, which are, in turn, provided by different interchangeable modules that may be installed within the device. The basic configuration of the defense device is a hard-shelled, elongated baton or the like, which may be used as an impact weapon or tool as required. Additional strength is provided to the barrel of the device by a series of longitudinal ribs, which also serve as shallow edges to impart further damage. The device includes a module having an electrical stun module with a silicon-controlled rectifier (SCR) electrical circuit, which produces an output voltage of tens of thousands of volts across a pair of spaced apart electrodes at the distal end of the device. This is sufficient to impart a stunning shock to an assailant or threat, and produces an essentially continuous electrical arc across the points to dissuade an assailant.

The electrical stun module may be interchanged with other modules that are essentially externally identical physically to one another. One such module may incorporate superbright LED lighting components to temporarily blind an assailant. The lighting may be caused to flicker rapidly, an effect that is known to produce disorientation, emotional changes, and/or other effects in persons. Another module may be used to produce a piercing sound to temporarily dissuade an assailant or threat. Still another module may be installed axially or radially to actuate an irritant spray canister or the like (e.g., pepper spray or Mace®, etc.), thus providing a chemical deterrent. The dual actuating switches provided enable a user to actuate the various functions, particularly the electrical stun and light circuitry, in a momentary or continuously actuated manner. The device may also be removably attached to a lethal weapon, e.g., an M-16 rifle, by means of a conventional attachment mechanism.

These and other features of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a modular personal defense device according to the present invention, showing its general configuration.

FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view of the modular personal defense device of FIG. 1, showing interchangeable modules and additional internal details.

FIG. 3 is an electrical schematic diagram for the electronic stun module of the modular personal defense device of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a right side elevation view of the present modular personal defense device of the present invention removably secured to a firearm.

FIG. 5 is a partially broken away side elevation view of an embodiment of the modular personal defense device of the present invention having an extension rod attached axially thereto, with an irritant spray canister disposed in the distal end of the extension rod.

FIG. 6 is an exploded perspective view of an embodiment of the modular personal defense device of the present invention with an axial extension rod, showing their removable attachment to one another.

FIG. 7 is an exploded perspective view of an embodiment of the modular personal defense device with a removable, radially disposed irritant spray canister and handle.

FIG. 8 is a detailed cross sectional view of the radially disposed irritant spray canister and handle of FIG. 7, showing further details thereof.

Similar reference characters denote corresponding features consistently throughout the attached drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The present invention comprises various embodiments of a personal defense device. My prior U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,643,114, issued Nov. 4, 2003, and 6,791,816, issued Sep. 14, 2004, both of which are hereby incorporated by reference, describe improvements in baton-style personal defense devices. The present application describes further improvements in baton-style personal defense devices in which various defensive output modules providing various defensive or deterrent effects or functions may be installed interchangeably with one another. The various output modules are enclosed within a rigid, hard baton that serves as an impact weapon, i.e., a nightstick like device.

FIG. 1 of the drawings provides a perspective view of a personal defense device 10 having an electrical stun output end cap 12 installed thereon. The defense device 10 basically comprises a hard, rigid, elongate, hollow baton 14 having a concentric handle portion 16 and handle end 18, with an impact portion 20 opposite the handle portion 16 and end 18. The impact portion 20 of the device preferably includes a series of external, radially spaced, longitudinally disposed, baton-strengthening impact ribs 22. The impact ribs serve as blunt edges to inflict further trauma upon an assailant or threat when the device is used as an impact weapon, and also serve to stiffen the hollow structure as well. The impact portion 20 of the device also serves as a housing for various interchangeable output modules, while the opposite handle portion 16 serves as an electrical storage cell or battery housing. Batteries are accessed by means of a removable handle end cap 24.

FIG. 2 provides an exploded perspective view of the defense device 10, illustrating various internal components as well as two of the interchangeable output modules that may be used with the device. The hollow baton 14 may be formed of various hard, high-density plastic and/or composite materials, as two hollow, generally semicylindrical components. A blend of polycarbonate and polybutylene terephthalate has been found to work well due to its chemical and impact properties, its high and low temperature resistance, as well as its electrical insulation properties. The hollow shell serves as a housing for a battery pack 26 or the like installed in the handle portion 16, and one of a series of interchangeable output modules, e.g., electrical stun module 28 or alternative module 30, removably installed within the impact portion 20 of the device. The physical output of the device 10, i.e., high voltage electrical arc, piercing sound, high intensity light, etc., depends upon the specific module installed. Novel silicon-controlled rectifier (SCR) circuitry is shown schematically in FIG. 3 and described in detail further below for operating the electrical stun module 28. Other output modules 30, e.g., high intensity light emitting devices, high intensity, piercing sound emitting devices, etc., may use conventional apparatus and circuitry to produce their light and sound emissions, as desired. Still other output modules may include some form of irritant spray (e.g., pepper spray, Mace®, etc.), as shown in FIG. 5, in combination with another modular component of the personal defense device described further below. All such modules are essentially identical externally to provide for their interchangeability within the baton 14, with all electrical contacts being identically positioned on the modules in order to allow the same actuating switches of the baton to be used for all modules.

While two halves are shown in FIG. 2 for the baton 14, it will be understood that they are normally permanently assembled with one another at the time of manufacture. The separation of the two baton halves 14 in FIG. 2 is shown in order to more clearly illustrate the various permanently installed components, as well as removable components, such as the battery pack 26 and interchangeable modules 28 and 30. However, the battery pack 26 and interchangeable modules 28 and 30 are normally accessed for removal and replacement through their respective end caps 24 and 12 (or other output module end cap, depending upon the type of module installed).

The device 10 also includes a generally radially disposed light 32 residing in an internal heat sink 34 within the medial portion of the device. Power for the light 32 is provided by the battery pack 26. Two separate actuation switches 36 and 38 are provided for the device, with their function depending upon their respective actuation and the physical output of the module installed. The output module master switch 36 is located just forward of the handle portion 16 of the device, and comprises a pushbutton switch that remains engaged with the selected pole or contacts, i.e., functioning as a “toggle” switch. When the switch 36 is depressed, it alternatively actuates and deactivates the output module installed, e.g., the electric stun module 28, to produce a continuous output when activated. The output module interrupt switch 38 is disposed to the opposite side of the device, and comprises a normally off pushbutton switch connected through the output module master switch 36, and serves to open the output module contacts of the master switch 36 when depressed. Thus, when the output module master switch 36 is closed, the output module (e.g., spark discharge) operates continually until interrupted by holding the interrupt switch 38. The output module master switch 36 also includes a second set of contacts that are closed when the output module contacts are open. The interrupt switch 38 and light 32 are wired through this second contact set, to allow operation of the light 32 by means of the output module interrupt switch 38 whenever the output module is not in operation.

The personal defense device 10 may contain any of a number of different types of modules, as noted further above. One of the modules that may be included with the device 10 is an electrical stun discharge module 28, as shown in FIG. 2, with an exemplary electrical system being shown in FIG. 3. The circuit of FIG. 3 is novel for use in an electronic stun device, as it employs silicon controlled rectifier (SCR) technology, rather than using the spark gap principle as used in other devices of the related art. Although described for use with replaceable modules, such as electrical stun module 28, it will be understood that the circuit of FIG. 3 may be used without a replaceable module, e.g., to replace stun circuits in conventional, permanently wired batons or stun guns.

The circuit of FIG. 3 receives power from the two contacts E1 and E2, which provide power from the battery pack 26, which is preferably a 12-volt lithium ion battery or equivalent. Electrical power passes through a fuse F1 and filtering circuit C1, C2, and R1 to a bridge driver controller integrated circuit U1, which contains an oscillator and a pair of MOSFET drivers. R4 and C3 set a switching frequency, e.g., 30 kHz, for a high-voltage switching converter. Two metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistor (MOSFET) devices Q1 and Q2 are switches, which alternately charge and discharge the capacitor group C5A through C5D to drive the high voltage transformer T1. Coil L2 limits the charging current. The transformer steps up the voltage to a desired level, e.g., a 290:1 ratio. The alternating current from the transformer T1 is rectified by high voltage diodes CR101 through CR108, employed in a bridge-type circuit. Output from the diode bridge CR101 through CR103 charges the capacitor C103 across another circuit comprising capacitors 0101, C102 and resistors R101 through R106.

Primary voltage from the transformer T1 is sensed by U201 and c201. When voltages at the primary of transformer exceeds a predetermined limit, e.g., 5.2 volts, a fast gate driver circuit built around Q201 provides a pulse of current to the gate of SCR CR201, turning the SCR on. This circuit provides a rapid turn-on for the SCR for minimal losses between the capacitor C103 and the step-up side of the transformer T1. This circuit provides a low amperage, rapidly pulsing current across the two points E3 and E4 (shown extending from the electrical discharge cap 12 in FIGS. 1 and 2) which can be greater than 50,000 volts at a frequency greater than 60 Hz, depending upon battery pack power and the values of the electronic components selected. Once triggered, the SCR stays on until the output capacitor C103 discharges top a low voltage. The amount of capacitance determines the intensity and duration of the arc across E3 and E4. The use of an SCR to control the rapid switching of the circuit, rather than a conventional spark gap switch, results in a device having a much longer lifespan than the conventional spark gap device. Moreover, the arc rate can be increased to over 100 Hz and still retain thermal stability. The above-described circuit as shown in FIG. 3 of the drawings is preferably “potted” or encapsulated in a plastic resin or other suitable material for greater durability when the baton is used as an impact weapon.

FIG. 4 of the drawings provides a side elevation view of the personal defense device 10 removably attached to a lethal weapon W, e.g., an M-16 rifle. The device 10 may include conventional “Pickatinny Rail” attachment fittings 40 extending therefrom, as is known in the art, or other attachment or bracketry means may be used. The discharge end cap, e.g., the electrical discharge cap 12 for the electrical discharge module 28, preferably extends at least slightly beyond the muzzle M of the weapon W when the personal defense device 10 is attached thereto, in order to enable direct contact of the discharge cap against an assailant or threatening individual when required.

FIGS. 5 and 6 respectively provide side elevation in partial section and exploded perspective views of an embodiment of the defense device 10 in combination with an elongate extension rod or module 42. The extension rod 42 secures removably and concentrically to the handle end cap 24 of the device 10, and includes a distal end 44 (shown in section in FIG. 5) having a chamber 46 removably housing a pepper spray, Mace®, or other irritant spray cartridge C therein. The opposite attachment end 48 of the rod 42 includes a relatively larger diameter flange 50 extending therefrom, with the flange 50 having a diameter essentially identical to the diameter of the handle end cap 24 of the baton 14, i.e., at least slightly larger than the diameter of the handle portion 1 6 of the device. A pair of opposed, semicylindrical clamps 52 having opposed inwardly disposed lips 54 is placed about the handle end cap 24 of the baton 14 and flange 50 of the extension rod attachment end 48, to clamp the extension rod 42 concentrically to the baton 14. The two semicylindrical clamps 52 are held together by a sleeve 56, which installs removably over the two clamps 52. A setscrew 58 or the like may be used to secure the sleeve 56 to the clamps 52.

FIGS. 7 and 8 illustrate an alternative, radially attached irritant spray canister for the personal defense device 10. The radially attached canister 60 differs somewhat from the conventional cartridge C removably installed in the distal end 44 of the extension rod 42, as the canister 60 contains a spray cartridge C therein (shown in section in FIG. 8) and includes means for removably securing the device to the baton 14, precluding inadvertent activation, and adjusting and securing the direction of the spray as desired. The spray canister 60 includes an attachment end 62 having a flexible cylindrical band 64 extending therefrom. A bolt 66 (shown in FIG. 8) secures the band 64 through a collar 68 to the attachment end 62 of the canister 60.

The canister 60 is secured to the barrel of the baton 14 by passing the flexible band 64 over the baton from one end or the other, and positioning it as desired. The canister 60 is then rotated to tighten it against the bolt 66, thereby drawing the head of the bolt 66 (and the band 64 attached thereto) into the end of the collar 68 to tighten the grip of the band 64 about the body of the baton 14. The assembly is locked in position to preclude inadvertent unthreading of the canister 60, by one or more pins 70 in the collar which engage a series of teeth 72 within the attachment end 62 of the canister 60. A release button 74 extending from the side of the collar 68 lifts the pin(s) 70 from their engagement with the teeth 72, to allow the canister to be unscrewed to loosen the band 64.

The opposite spray output end 76 of the canister 60 is configured so that the spray is discharged radially from the axis of the canister, rather than axially. A selectively rotating, directionally adjustable outlet and guard cap assembly 78 secures over the output end 76 of the canister, and secures the irritant spray cartridge C therein. The outlet and guard cap 78 includes one or more pins 80, similar to the pin(s) 70 of the attachment end collar 68, which are relatively affixed within the rotating spray output end and engage the body of the canister 60. A release button 82 causes the pins 80 to withdraw from their engagement with the canister 60, thereby allowing the outlet and guard cap 78 to be rotated to the desired orientation. A protective guard cap or cover 84 is provided to preclude inadvertent discharge of the spray.

In conclusion, the modular personal defense device, in its various embodiments, greatly increases the versatility and the choices of the user in reacting to a threat. The device may be used in the classic manner in close hand-to-hand combat where the use of physical force is called for, and/or the electronic stun module may be installed and activated to hold would-be assailants or threatening persons at bay, or to deliver a momentary stunning electrical shock to excessively aggressive persons. The defense device may also be used to provide deterrence at some distance, by means of the interchangeable light and sound emitting modules. These light and sound modules incorporate conventional principles of operation, but their identical external configurations to the electrical stun module, and to one another, enable them to be installed interchangeably with the same control switch system being used for actuation of any of the modules when installed.

It will be seen that at least some of the above modules may be provided for use as a private deterrent device for the homeowner, as well, e.g., smaller versions using the light, sound, and/or irritant spray modules or devices. The light module may provide an extremely bright, steady light, or may be set to flash at a rate of several times per second, which is known to induce various psychological effects ranging from irritation and distraction to seizures in subjects.

In addition to the above, the provision for an irritant spray dispensing device disposed in the distal end of an extension rod or radially disposed from the device itself, provides even greater versatility and choice for the user of the device. Provision for attachment to a lethal weapon using conventional attachment fittings, enables the device to be secured to any military or other weapon equipped with such conventional fittings. Thus, the present modular personal defense device will prove to be a most valuable article of equipment for police, military personnel, security forces, and virtually any authorized personnel who have need for a non-lethal personnel control device.

It is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to the embodiments described above, but encompasses any and all embodiments within the scope of the following claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7787232 *Feb 7, 2008Aug 31, 2010Michael R AbatemarcoMultifunction security device
US8231474 *Apr 30, 2010Jul 31, 2012Aegis Industries, Inc.Multi-stimulus personal defense device
US8245878 *Nov 3, 2008Aug 21, 2012Charlotte Ann SmithSmart self defense apparatus
US8277328May 4, 2010Oct 2, 2012Aegis Industries, Inc.Electromuscular incapacitation device and methods
US8363376Aug 4, 2010Jan 29, 2013Abatemarco Michael RMultifunction security device
US8424350Jun 18, 2010Apr 23, 2013Projections Yoogo Inc.Personal security key holder
US8510979 *Jan 17, 2011Aug 20, 2013Timothy Scott MortimerLight-emitting and less-than-lethal-agent-emitting apparatus
US20120204466 *Feb 8, 2012Aug 16, 2012Anthony Jeremiah BayneDisarm prevention circuit for a firearm and a system to prevent a user of a fiream from being disarmmed
WO2010127256A1 *Apr 30, 2010Nov 4, 2010Aegis Industries, Inc.Multi-stimulus personal defense device
Classifications
U.S. Classification463/47.2
International ClassificationA63B59/00
Cooperative ClassificationF41H13/0087, F41H9/10, F41H13/0018, F41B15/04
European ClassificationF41B15/04, F41H9/10, F41H13/00D2, F41H13/00F10