Apple Inc. (Cupertino, CA)

A keyboard could have keys that are overlapped by the touch sensor. The keys can be pressed by a user as well as the touch sensor may be used to provide the input of a touch.

The key sensor circuitry inside the keyboard could be linked to switches on the keys by traces placed on a printed circuit or other substrate. The switches can be attached to the substrate using movable key members. The key sensorcircuitry can monitor the switches while they are in operation to determine the moment when keys are pressed.

The circuitry for touch sensors could be part of the keyboard. The circuitry for the touch sensor could be capacitive touch sensor circuitry that monitors capacitive electrodes in the touch sensor to detect input by the user.

The keyboard could have an outer layer of fabric which covers the keys. There may be openings which correspond to the alphanumeric characters. Light sources may emit light that passes through the openings and illuminates the alphanumericcharacters. The touch sensor may include signals that aren’t visible through the openings. The lines of signal may be transparent, may be covered by a diffuser or could be wrapped around the openings to ensure that they do not overlap.

Click here to view the patent on USPTO website.


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What is a patent?

Granted by the government to protect an invention, a patent provides the inventor with exclusive rights to develop, utilize to sell, and market the invention? Society gains when a new technology is brought to the market. The benefits can be in the direct sense, since it may allow individuals to achieve previously impossible things. Or indirectly, by the economic benefits (business growth and employment) which the invention provides.

A lot of pharmaceutical companies and university researchers seek patent protection for their work and research. Patents can be granted for a product, process, or method of creating new materials. In order to be granted protection under a patent the invention must be useful unique, innovative, and not readily apparent to anyone else in the same field.

Patents are awarded to inventors who have commercially viable inventions. They serve as a motivator for inventors to come up with new ideas. Small businesses and inventors are sure that they will earn a return on their investment in technology development via patents. They could earn a decent income by their work.

Companies that are able to:

Secure new products and services that are innovative;

Increase the value, appearance, and visibility of your products market;

Make your company and products stand out from the competition;

Get business and technical details.

Avoid the risk of using proprietary third-party content, or losing important information, creative outputs, or any other innovative output.

Patents transform the knowledge of inventors into an asset that can be sold, which opens up new opportunities for job creation through licensing and joint ventures.

Small businesses that have patent protection are more attractive to investors involved in the commercialization and development of technology.

Patenting can lead to the development of new ideas and inventions. This information can promote innovation and may qualify for protection under patents.

Patents are a way to stop untrustworthy third parties from profiting through the work of inventions.

Patent-protected technology revenues that are commercially viable can be used to fund technological research and development (R&D) that increases the likelihood of a better technology in the near future.

Intellectual property ownership is a way to convince lenders and investors that there are genuine opportunities to market your product. One powerful patent may provide numerous financing options. You can use patents and other IP assets as collateral or security financing. Investors can also see the patents you own to increase the value of your company. Forbes and other publications have noted that every patent can boost the value of your company by as much as $500,000 to $1 million.

Start-ups require a well-designed business plan that leverages the IP to prove that your product or service is distinctive superior or unique. Investors will also be impressed if you have IP rights are secured or are in the process of being secured, and they support your business plan.

It is important to keep your invention secret until you apply for patent protection. The public disclosure of an invention can frequently devalue its originality and invalidate it. The filing of disclosures prior to filing, for example, for investors, test marketing, or other business partners should be done only after the signing of a confidentiality agreement.

There are many kinds of patents. Knowing the different types of patents is vital to safeguard your invention. Patents for utility cover processes and machine creations. Design patents cover ornamental designs. Utility patents are the most effective to protect the proprietor from copycats and other competitors. Most often the utility patents are granted to improve or modify existing inventions. Utility patents also cover enhancements and modifications to existing inventions. A process patent could be a way to describe the actions or methods of performing a particular act. However, a chemical composition could be an amalgamation of ingredients.

How long does a patent last? Patents for utility last for 20 years after the earliest filing date, but their expirations may be extended because of delays in the patent office, for example.

Are you interested in the patenting of your idea? Since patents are only granted for first-to-file applicants and you must file quickly – call a patent attorney at PatentPC to protect your idea now!

When drafting an application for patents it is recommended to conduct a patent search. it will provide you with an insight into the other applicants’ ideas. You’ll be able to limit the nature of your idea. Also, you can find out about the current technological advancements in your area of invention. You’ll be able to get a better idea of what your invention ought to be and will be more prepared to submit the patent application.

How to Search for Patents

A patent search is the very first step to getting your patent. You can do a google patent search or do a USPTO search. After the patent application has been submitted, the product that is covered by the application can be called patent-pending, and you will be able to locate the patent application on a public pair. Once the patent office has approved your application, you will be able to do a patent number look to find the patent issued. Your product will now become patented. You can also use the USPTO search engine. Read on for more details. A patent lawyer or patent attorney can help you through the process. Patents granted in the United States are granted by the US trademark and patent office or the United States patent office. This office also reviews trademark applications.

Are you looking for similar patents? Here are the steps you should follow:

1. Create a list of terms for your invention in relation to its intended composition, use, or purpose.

Begin by writing down a succinct and precise description of your invention. Do not use generic terms such as “device,” “process,” and “system.” Look for synonyms to the terms you picked initially. Then, take note of important technical terms and key words.

Utilize the following questions to help you determine the keywords or concepts.

  • What is the purpose of the invention Is it a utilitarian device or an ornamental design?
  • Is the invention a method of making something, or performing a function? Does it constitute a product?
  • What is the purpose and composition of the invention? What is the invention’s physical structure?
  • What’s the purpose of the invention
  • What are the terms in the technical field and the keywords used to describe an invention’s nature? A technical dictionary can help you find the appropriate phrases.

2. These terms allow you to search for pertinent Cooperative Patent Classifications using the Classification Search Tool. To determine the most suitable classification to your invention, scan the class scheme of the classification (class schedules). If you don’t get any results from the Classification Text Search, you might consider substituting your words for describing your invention with synonyms.

3. Examine 3. Go over the CPC Classification Definition to confirm the relevancy of the CPC classification that you have discovered. If the chosen classification includes a blue square with the letter “D” to its left, the link will lead you to a CPC classification’s description. CPC classification definitions can aid you in determining the classification’s scope , so you can select the most relevant. In addition they can provide some tips for searching and other information that may be useful for further study.

4. Retrieve patent documents with the CPC classification from the Patents Full-Text and Image Database. By focusing your search on abstracts and illustrations it is possible to narrow your search to find the most relevant patent publications.

5. This collection of patent publication is the best to check for similarity to your idea. Take note of the claims and specifications. It is possible to find additional patents by referring to the patent examiner and the applicant.

6. Find patent applications published in the public domain using the CPC classification you chose in Step 3 from the Applications Full-Text and Image Database. You can apply the same strategy of searching as Step 4, narrowing your results down to the most relevant patent applications by examining the abstract and illustrations on every page. The next step is to review all published patent applications carefully and pay particular attention to the claims, and other drawings.

7. Find other US patents by keywords in the PatFT or AppFT databases, classification search of non-U.S. patents as described below, and searching non-patent publications of inventions with internet search engines. Here are a few examples:

  • Add keywords to your search. Keyword searches may turn up documents that are not well-categorized or have missed classifications during Step 2. For example, US patent examiners often supplement their classification searches with keyword searches. Think about the use of technical engineering terminology rather than everyday words.
  • Search for foreign patents using the CPC classification. Then, re-run the search using international patent office search engines such as Espacenet, the European Patent Office’s worldwide patent publication database of over 130 million patent publications. Other national databases include:
  • Search non-patent literature. Inventions can be made public in many non-patent publications. It is recommended that you search journals, books, websites, technical catalogs, conference proceedings, and other print and electronic publications.

To review your search, you can hire a registered patent attorney to assist. A preliminary search will help one better prepare to talk about their invention and other related inventions with a professional patent attorney. In addition, the attorney will not spend too much time or money on patenting basics.