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Patent: A Better Mouse Trap.
Patent: A Better Mouse Trap. | dal_ftw_txbz, abil_txbz, Larry Covington, Weatherford, Ethan Vickery, Bedford, patent, 8209900, rodent bait, trap, rat, mouse,

Ethan Vickery of Bedford and Larry Covington of Weatherford recently received U.S. Patent 8,209,900 for “Weighted Rodent Bait Stations and Related Methods.”

Texas Business Patent of the Day: Two Texas men have devised a better way to build rodent traps.

Ethan Vickery of Bedford and Larry Covington of Weatherford recently received U.S. Patent 8,209,900 for “Weighted Rodent Bait Stations and Related Methods.”

The two men applied for the patent on January 25, 2011.

The patent assignee is VM Products Inc. of Bedford.

The patent includes methods, devices, and systems relate generally to the field of rodent bait stations, according to the patent documents.

The invention includes rodent bait station assemblies and methods for assembly and bundling. Some embodiments of the present rodent bait station assemblies have a bait station fixed to an anchoring base by one or more fastening members that are respectively coupled to one or more frusto-conically shaped attachment pieces that are each in contact with the anchoring base. In some embodiments, the attachment pieces may be frusto-conically shaped fastening plugs that are respectively in contact with the one or more fastening members.

In some embodiments of the present rodent bait station assemblies, the anchoring base may comprise ceramic or concrete. Some embodiments include bait stations that are configured with a lid. Some of these embodiments include a removable key, and are configured such that the lid can be unlocked from the bait station using the key.

Some embodiments of the present rodent bait station assemblies have a base portion and a lid that is integrally attached to the base portion. Some of these embodiments include a removable key, and are configured such that the lid can be unlocked from the bait station using the key.

Some embodiments of the present rodent bait station assemblies contain bait located within the bait station. Some of these embodiments also include bait-holding rods that couple the bait to the bait station.

In some embodiments of the present rodent bait station assemblies, the attachment pieces contain plastic. In some embodiments, the attachment pieces are part of an attachment tray. In some of these embodiments, the fastening members are coupled to the attachment pieces using frusto-conically shaped fastening plugs that are in contact with the fastening members and with the attachment pieces.

Some embodiments of the present rodent bait station assemblies have fastening members that are self-tapping screws.

Some embodiments of the present rodent bait station assemblies have a bait station, an anchoring base, an attachment piece, and a fastening member that is in contact with the bait station and is coupled to the attachment piece. In these embodiments, the anchoring base may include an anchoring base top surface having a portion that is in contact with the bait station, and an anchoring base attachment surface that are is not parallel to the anchoring base top surface. In these embodiments, the attachment piece may be in contact with the anchoring base attachment surfaces.

In these embodiments, the anchoring base may fixed to the bait station by a compressive force that is normal to the anchoring base top surface. The compressive force may be applied to the anchoring base by the attachment piece.

In these embodiments, the attachment piece may not be integral to the anchoring base prior to coupling the fastening member to the attachment piece. In other words, prior to coupling fastening member to the attachment piece, the attachment piece may be separable from the anchoring base.

Some embodiments of the present rodent bait station assemblies include features that prevent rotation of the attachment piece during coupling to the fastening member. Such anti-rotational features may include, for example, a configuration having a slightly eccentric radial cross-section (e.g., an oblong-shaped cross-section) of a generally frusto-conical attachment surface of the anchoring base. When such a configuration is coupled to a frusto-conical fastening plug serving as the attachment piece, the fastening plug may deform to comply with the eccentric cross-section of the attachment surface, thereby limiting the rotation of fastening plug.

In some embodiments of the present rodent bait station assemblies, the anchoring base includes an anchoring base bottom surface that is substantially parallel and opposite the anchoring base top surface. In these embodiments, the anchoring base bottom surface may have indented features, such as, for example, channels or grid-like impressions. The term "substantially parallel" in this respect means that the magnitude of the angle between the surface normals is about ten degrees or less.

In some embodiments of the present rodent bait station assemblies, projecting the outer perimeter of the anchoring base onto the plane of the anchoring base attachment surface circumscribes an area that is about 110% or less than the area circumscribed by projecting the outer perimeter of the bait station onto the plane of the anchoring base attachment surface.

In some embodiments of the present rodent bait station assemblies, the shape resulting from projecting the outer perimeter of the anchoring base onto the plane of the anchoring base attachment surface is substantially the same as the shape resulting from projecting the outer perimeter of the bait station onto the plane of the anchoring base attachment surface. The term "substantially the same" in this respect means that the two shapes can be aligned such that the offset between the two shapes (e.g., for any given point on either shape, the shortest distance to a point on the other shape) does not deviate by more then 10% from the median offset between the two shapes.

Embodiments of the present rodent bait station packaged bundle contain a packaging container and a bait station assembly having a bait station fixed to an anchoring base. In these embodiments, the bait station assembly may be within the packaging container.

Some embodiments of the present rodent bait station packaged bundle include bait located within the bait station. In some of these embodiments, the bait is coupled to the bait station using bait-holding rods.

In some embodiments of the present rodent bait station packaged bundle, the packaging container is paper. Some embodiments of the packaging container are paperboard, corrugated fiberboard, or plastic.

Embodiments of the present shipping bundles include a transport pallet, rodent bait station assemblies, and a plastic film wrapped around a portion of the plurality of rodent bait station assemblies to secure the rodent bait station assemblies to the transport pallet and restrict movement of rodent bait station assemblies relative to each other.

Some embodiments of the present shipping bundles include bait located within the bait station. In some of these embodiments, bait-holding rods couple the bait to the bait station.

Some embodiments of the present shipping bundles include a strap securing the rodent bait station assemblies to the transport pallet.

Embodiments of the present methods for assembling a rodent bait station assembly include the steps of positioning a base attachment piece in a fixture, positioning an anchoring base over the base attachment piece so that the base attachment piece contacts an anchoring base attachment surface of the anchoring base, positioning a bait station on the anchoring base such that an attachment position of the bait station aligns with the attachment piece, and fixing the anchoring base to the bait station by positioning a fastening member at the attachment position and coupling the fastening member to the base attachment piece.

Embodiments of the present methods for bundling a plurality of rodent bait station assemblies includes the steps of placing a plurality of rodent bait station assemblies on a transport pallet, and wrapping a plastic film around a portion of the plurality of rodent bait station assemblies to secure the rodent bait station assemblies to the transport pallet and restrict movement of rodent bait station assemblies relative to each other. In these embodiments each rodent bait station assembly may include a bait station fixed to an anchoring base.