Semiconductor Energy Laboratory Co., Ltd. (Atsugi-shi, Kanagawa-ken, JP)

A memory cell that can store multilevel information. It’s more resistant to fluctuations in the transistor’s characteristics. It can write multilevel data in a short time and read it out accurately. In writing, a current corresponding to multilevel data is fed to the transistor within the memory cell. It is then stored as the gate drain voltage for the transistor inside the memory cell. A current is supplied to a transistor in the memory cell using the gate drain voltage that is stored. Multilevel data is later retrieved by comparing the voltage that was used to create the current.

1. Field of the Invention

One embodiment of this invention is connected to a semiconductor device and the method of operating it. For example, one embodiment of the present invention relates to storage devices or a method to operate the storage device, or similar.

The present invention doesn’t limit itself to the technological fields discussed above. The technical area of one version of the invention described in this specification and the like is related to an object, a method, or amanufacturing method. One of the embodiments of the invention relates to a process, machine, manufacture, and a composition of material. This specification identifies a number of examples in the technical area of the invention. They include the use of a semiconductor device as well as display devices.

2. Description of Related Art

A semiconductor device with a large storage capacity is essential due to the increasing quantity of data being processed in recent years. In such situations the semiconductor device mentioned in Patent Document 1 has a design that allows multi-level data to be stored and then read.

[Patent Document 1] Japanese Published Patent Application No. 2012-256400

Click here to view the patent on USPTO website.


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What is a patent?

A patent is granted by the government in order to protect an invention. It grants the inventor the right to create, use and market the invention. Society gains when new technology is introduced to market. The benefits can be realized directly by people who are able to accomplish feats previously unattainable and indirectly by the economic opportunities that innovation provides (business expansion, job creation).

Patent protection is demanded by many pharmaceutical companies and university researchers for research and development. Patents are granted to products, processes, or method of creating new materials. Patent protection has to be granted to an invention that is useful unique, innovative, and not yet known by other people in the same field.

Patents are awarded to inventors who have commercially viable inventions. They are an incentive to inventors to come up with new ideas. Patents allow small and emerging businesses and inventors to be confident that there’s a good chance they will receive a return for their time, effort, and money invested in the development of technology. It means that they can make a living by their work.

Businesses that have the capacity to:

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Patenting could lead to the development of innovative ideas and inventions. The information you create may be eligible for patent protection.

Patents can be used to prevent untrustworthy third parties from making money through the work of inventions.

Commercially successful patent-protected technology revenues can be used to fund the development of technology through research and development (R&D) and improve the chances of developing better technology in the future.

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It is essential to protect an invention prior to filing for patent protection. Public disclosure of an invention prior to filing can frequently degrade its originality and make it patent-infringing. Pre-filing disclosures, such as for investors, test-marketing or other business partners, is best done after signing a confidentiality agreement.

There are many kinds of patents. Knowing them is essential to protect your invention. Utility patents cover new techniques and machines. Design patents cover ornamental designs. Patents for utility are the most effective since they protect the owner from copycats as well as other competitors. Frequently the utility patents are granted for alterations or improvements to existing inventions. Patents issued under utility can be used to improve or alter existing inventions. For instance, a procedure patent covers acts or methods of doing a specific act, whereas chemical compositions are the combination of ingredients.

What is the average length of a patent? Utility patents are valid for 20 years from the earliest filing date, but their expirations may be extended because of delays in the patent office for instance.

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A patent search is essential when writing the patent application. This will enable you to look at different ideas and provide insight into the potential of them. This allows you to limit the scope of your idea. Additionally, you’ll be able to be aware of the current state of technology in your field of innovation. You’ll get a better understanding of what your invention should be and be more prepared to submit your patent application.

How to Search for Patents

The first step to get your patent is to do an internet search for patents. You can do a google patent search or do a USPTO search. After the patent application is filed, the item covered by the application can be referred to as patent-pending and you can locate the patent application online on the public pair. When the patent office has endorsed the patent application, you can perform a patent search to locate the issued patent, and your product is now patented. You can also utilize the USPTO search engine. See below for details. You can get help from a patent lawyer. In the US, patents are issued by the US patent and trademark office, or the United States patent and trademark office, which is also responsible for examining trademark applications.

Are you interested in finding similar patents? Here are the steps to follow:

1. Brainstorm terms that describe your invention, based on its purpose, composition, and application.

Write down a succinct, precise description of your idea. Be sure to avoid using terms that are generic such as “device,” “process,” and “system.” Instead, think about synonyms for the terms you selected initially. Next, take note of crucial technical terms, as well as keywords.

Use the questions below to help you identify the keywords or concepts.

  • What is the purpose of the invention? Is it a utilitarian device or an ornamental design?
  • Invention is a method to create something or perform an action? Is it a product or procedure?
  • What is the purpose and composition of the invention? What is the physical composition of the invention?
  • What is the goal of this invention?
  • What are the terms and phrases in the field of technology that describe the nature of an invention? To find the appropriate terms, use a technical dictionary.

2. Use these terms to search for relevant Cooperative Patent Classifications on the Classification Text Search Tool. To find the most appropriate classification for your invention, look through the class scheme of the classification (class schedules). Consider substituting the words you’re using to describe your invention if you do not get any results from the Classification Text Search with synonyms like the ones you used in step 1.

3. Go through 3. Check the CPC Classification Definition for confirmation of the CPC classification you’ve found. If the classification you have selected includes a blue square with the letter “D” on its left, clicking on the link will lead you to a CPC classification description. CPC classification definitions can be used to determine the scope of the classification, so you are sure to choose the most pertinent. Furthermore the definitions may include search tips and other suggestions 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 drawings that are representative, you can narrow down your search to find the most relevant patent publications.

5. This collection of patent publication is the most appropriate to examine for similarity to your invention. Pay attention to the specification and claims. Contact the applicant as well as the patent examiner for additional patents.

6. You can find patent applications published in the past that match the CPC classification you selected in Step 3. It is possible to use the same strategy of searching as Step 4, narrowing your search results to the most pertinent patent application by examining the abstract as well as the illustrations on every page. After that, take a close look at the published patent applications and pay particular attention to the claims and additional drawings.

7. Find additional US patent publications by keyword searches in the PatFT and AppFT databases, searching for classification of non-U.S. patents per below, and searching for non-patent literature disclosures of inventions using internet search engines. 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.