Apple Inc. (Cupertino, CA)
Electronic devices may include a variety of components. These include electronic components as well as structural elements like housings. A lot of the components in an electronic device are made of hard materials that can make it difficult to manufacture and assemble. For instance, a piece of an electronic device like a housing could be made out of a brittle material like a ceramic material.
The brittle component is susceptible to structural issues in the manufacturing of different components as well as the assembly of an electronic device. To minimize the risk of failure, it is possible to alter the geometry of brittle components. In most cases, however, these designs can restrict the possibilities of fastening the component to other components of the device or introduce new design and assembly issues. Further, traditional fasteners and methods of attaching brittle components to other components of the device may result in unintentional areas of stress concentration or lower strengths than desired.
One aspect of the invention is a digital device that includes the ceramic article having a first surface. The ceramic article is a cavity that extends into the ceramic from this first surface. The ceramic article also includes an undercut region that is defined by a retaining layer that is parallel to the first surface and a second one that defines an opening extending tangentially into and dividing the cavity. A fastener may be placed in the undercut area and includes a body defining a securing cavity extending into the body, as well as a protrusion having an engagement surface extending beyond the body. The engagement surface can be used to contact the surfaces of retaining. The electronic device may also comprise an element with an aperture. The aperture being aligned with the cavity that is secured, and a fixing member can pass through the aperture, and then mechanically engage with the cavity for securing.
The ceramic item may contain zirconia as well as alumina in certain instances. The fastener can include a metal. The body that defines the cavity for securing may contain an engagement feature. A feature for engagement can be placed in the fixing component that corresponds to the fastener’s engagement feature. A fastener could have a cross-sectional space that substantially matches the form of the opening. The protrusion could extend nearly completely around the body of the fastener. The curvature radius for the area of ceramic articles that define the undercut could be between 0.001 and 0.1mm. The surfaceof the protrusion can be in contact with the opposing surface of the undercut. The second cavity may extend completely through the fastener, and the fixing member may extend through the fastener and into the ceramic material.
A different aspect of the present disclosure is a fastener including a body having a first surface, and the body having a cavity extending through the body of the fastener via an opening in the first surface, a part of the body that defines the cavity being adapted to accept, and then engage with, the fixing member, and the protrusion extends radially from the body, and with a second surface that is in a parallel position with the first, such that the second surface is abutting the opposite surface of an undercut of a cavity when it is placed therein and engaged with a fixing member.
In certain embodiments, the portion of the body which defines the space of the fastener can have an engagement feature. The protrusion can extend almost all over the body. The fastener can further include a channel in the bodyadjacent to the protrusion. The body can be cylindrical.
Another feature of the disclosure is an assembly comprising a brittle piece defining an opening. The brittle pieces have an undercut portion that defines the cavity. The undercut area may contain an attachment device, which could be a feature of engagement or a retaining area. The retaining surface of the fastener can be placed opposite to the undercut of the brittle object and be engaged with it. An aperture-shaped component can be aligned with theengagement feature, and a fixing member can be inserted through the aperture and mechanically engage the engagement feature.
The component can be an internal component of various electronic devices. A ceramic material can be used to make the brittle component. The retaining surface could be in contact with the undercut surface.Click here to view the patent on USPTO website.
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A patent is granted by the government to protect an invention, patents grant the inventor with the exclusive right to use, create and sell the invention? Society gains when a new technology is brought into the marketplace. These benefits could be directly realized as people are able to accomplish feats previously unattainable and indirectly by the economic benefits that innovation offers (business growth, employment).
Patent protection is sought out by many pharmaceutical companies and university researchers for research and development. Patents can be granted to a product, process, or method of making new materials. To be granted patent protection the invention must be novel, useful, and not obvious to others in the same field.
Patents give inventors a chance to be recognized for commercially successful inventions. They are an incentive to inventors to create. Small companies and inventors can rest assured that they will get the most return from the investment they make in technology development via patents. They can make a living by their work.
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Patents convert knowledge of the inventor into an asset that can be sold, that opens new avenues for job creation through joint ventures and licensing.
Investors who are involved in the development and commercialization of technology will appreciate small-scale businesses that have patent protection appealing.
Patenting may lead to fresh ideas and innovative inventions. The information you create may be protected under patent law.
Patents can serve as a deterrent to untrustworthy third parties profiting from the efforts of an invention.
Commercially successful patent-protected technology revenues can be used to finance the development of technology through research and development (R&D) that will boost the likelihood of improved technology in the coming years.
Intellectual ownership of property can be used to convince lenders and investors that there are real chances to commercialize your product. Sometimes, one powerful patent could lead to numerous financing opportunities. Patents can be used along with other IP assets as collateral or security for financing. Investors may also be able to see your patent assets to boost company valuation. Forbes and other publications have pointed out that each patent can increase company valuation by anywhere from $500,000 to $1 million.
Start-ups need a well-constructed business plan that builds on the IP to demonstrate that your product or service is distinctive, superior, or innovative. Investors will also be impressed if you prove that your IP rights are secured or are on the verge of becoming secure and that they support your business strategy.
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There are several types of patents and knowing these is vital to safeguard your invention. Patents for utility are used to protect new processes and machine creations. Design patents cover ornamental designs. Utility patents are the best as they protect the owner from copycats and competition. Patents for utility are usually granted to enhance or modify existing inventions. Utility patents can also be used to cover improvements and changes to existing inventions. A process patent will cover the acts or methods to perform a specific action. A chemical composition will include a combination of components.
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Patent searches are the first step towards obtaining your patent. You can do a google patent search or do a USPTO search. Patent-pending is the term for the product included in the patent application. You can use for the public pair to locate the patent application. Once the patent office has approved your application, you will be able to do an examination of the patent number to find the patent that was issued. Your product will become patented. Alongside the USPTO search engine, you may also use other search engines, such as espacenet as described below. It is possible to seek help from Patent attorneys or a patent attorney. Patents in the United States are granted by the US trademark and patent office as well as the United States patent office. This office also reviews trademark applications.
Are you interested in finding similar patents? Here are the steps you should follow:
1. Brainstorm terms to describe your invention, based on its purpose, composition, or use.
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Utilize the following questions to help you find keywords or concepts.
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- What is the purpose and composition of the invention? What is the physical composition of the invention?
- What is the purpose of the invention?
- What are the technical terms and keywords that describe the characteristics of an invention? To help you find the correct terms, consult an online dictionary of technical terms.
2. These terms will allow you to look up pertinent Cooperative Patent Classifications at Classification Search Tool. If you are unable to locate the appropriate classification for your invention, scan through the classification’s Schemas of classes (class schedules). If you don’t see any results using the Classification Text Search, you may want to consider replacing the words to describe your invention using synonyms.
3. Examine 3. Go over the CPC Classification Definition to verify the relevancy of the CPC classification you’ve discovered. If the selected classification title includes a blue square with a “D” on its left, clicking on the link will lead you to the CPC classification definition. CPC classification definitions can assist you in determining the classification’s purpose so that you can pick the one that is the one that is most appropriate. The definitions could also contain search tips or other suggestions which could prove useful in further investigation.
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 the most relevant patent publications.
5. This list of patent publications is the most appropriate to check for similarities to your idea. Be sure to read the claims and specifications. There are many patents available through contacting the patent examiner and the applicant.
6. Find patent applications published in the public domain using the CPC classification you picked in Step 3 from the Applications Full-Text and Image Database. You can also use the same strategy of searching you employed in Step 4 to narrow your search results to the most relevant patent applications by reviewing the abstracts and drawings for every page. The next step is to review the patent applications that have been published carefully and pay particular attention to the claims and other drawings.
7. You can search for other US patent publications using keyword searching in AppFT or PatFT databases, and also classification searching of patents that are not issued by the United States per below. You can also use web search engines to search for non-patent-related patent disclosures in literature about inventions. For example:
- 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.
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- Korean Intellectual Property Rights Information Service (KIPRIS)
- State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) with machine translation of Chinese patents.
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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.