Apple Inc. (Cupertino, CA)
Many types of input devices are currently available to perform operations in a computing system, like buttons or keys, mice trackballs, trackballs panels, joysticks touchscreens, and others. Because of their convenience and affordability, touch screens are becoming more and more popular. A touch panel can be added to touch screens. The panel could be a transparent screen with a touch sensitive surface. The touch sensor panel could bepositioned in front of a display screen in a way that the surface with a touch sensor extends over the entire area of the display screen. Touch screens let users select items and move cursors using a finger or stylus. The touch screen recognizes the position and touch of the touch, and the computer device interprets this information to perform an action based on the gesture.
Multiple drive lines could form touchscreen sensor panels. rows) crossing over multiple sense lines (e.g. columns) with the drive and sense lines are separated by the dielectric material. Applicant’s U.S. copending application Ser. No. 11/650,049 entitled “Double-Sided Touch Sensitive Panel and Flex Circuit Bonding,” filed on Jan. 3, 2007 the contents of which are included by referenceherein. It can be costly to make touch sensor panels that include drive and sense lines on both the top and bottom sides of one substrate. One reason for this additional cost is that the thin-film processing steps are required to be carried out on both sides of the glass substrate which requires protection measures for one side that is being processed as the other side is being treated. Another reason is the expense for the fabrication of a flex circuit and bonding that is required for connecting to both sides of thesubstrate.
This invention relates to the creation of a transparent touch sensor panel with co-planar single layer touch sensors that are constructed on one side of a substrate. These sensors can detect single or multiple touch events (the touching or the touching of one or more fingers or objects upon a touch sensitive surface at different locations). To avoid having to fabricate substantially transparent drive and sense lines that are on opposing sides of the same substrate embodiments of the invention may make sense and drive lines on a co-planar single layer that is located on the same substrate. It is possible to design the drive and sense lines as columns-like patterns with one orientation and patches and the other orientation in two. Each column-like pattern that is in the first orientation is connected to a separate metallic trace along the borders of the touch panel. All patches and rows in the second orientation are linked using a separate, or another conductive material, in the borders of the touch panel. The metal trace can be formed by forming trace along the edges of the substrate using patches and columns. However the dielectric layer can separate the metal traces from the patches or column-like patterns. Metal traces allow both the columns-like patterns as well as the patches to be routed through the same area of the substrate. This permits a small flex circuit to be attached to a specific area of substrate only.Click here to view the patent on USPTO website.
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What is a patent?
A patent is issued by the government in order to protect the invention. The patent grants the inventor the right to create, use and sell the invention. Society is benefited when new technology is brought for sale. The benefits can be realized directly by people who are able to achieve previously impossible feats and indirectly by the economic opportunities that innovation provides (business expansion, job creation).
Many pharmaceutical companies and university researchers seek protection under patents to protect their research and development. Patents are granted for a product, process, or method of making new materials. Patent protection has to be granted to an invention that is useful unique, innovative, and not already known by others in the same area.
Patents are a way to give inventors a reward for commercially successful inventions. They are an incentive to inventors to invent. Patents enable small and emerging businesses and inventors to be assured that there’s a good chance they will be paid back on their time, effort, and money invested in technological development. This means they will be able to earn money from their work.
Patents are a crucial part of businesses with the ability to:
Make sure you protect your unique products and services.
Increase the visibility and value of your products ‘ presence on the market
Make your company and products stand out from the competition;
Get business and technical details.
Avoid accidentally downloading content from third parties or losing important information, original outputs or any other creative output.
Patents transform inventors’ knowledge into a marketable asset that opens up new possibilities for job creation and business growth by licensing or joint ventures.
Investors who are involved in the commercialization and development of technology will appreciate small companies with patent protection to be more attractive.
Patenting could lead to the development of new inventions and ideas. This information can promote the development of new ideas and could qualify for protection under patents.
Patents can be used to prevent untrustworthy third parties from making money through the work of inventions.
Patent-protected technology that is commercially profitable could be used to fund technological research and development (R&D) which increases the chance of improved technology in the near future.
Intellectual property ownership can be used to convince investors and lenders that there are legitimate opportunities to commercialize your product. A single patent could provide multiple financing opportunities. Patents as well as other IP assets can be used as collateral or security for debt financing. Investors may also look at your patent assets to increase the value of your company. Forbes and other publications have reported that every patent could add anything from $500,000 to one million dollars to your company’s valuation.
A properly-designed business plan is vital for new businesses. It must be founded on IP and show how your product/service stands out. Investors will also be amazed if your IP rights are secured or are on the verge of being secured, and that they support your business plan.
It is essential to keep an invention private until you apply for patent protection. Public disclosure of an invention prior to filing can often destroy its novelty and render it unpatentable. Disclosures that are filed prior to filing, like for investors, test-marketing or any other business partners, must be done following the signing of a confidentiality agreement.
There are many kinds of patents and knowing the different types is crucial to protect your invention. Utility patents cover new processes and machine creations. Design patents cover ornamental designs. Utility patents are the best as they protect the owner from copycats as well as other competitors. They are typically issued to improve or modify existing inventions. They can also be used to improve or modify existing inventions. For instance, a process patent will cover acts or methods of doing a specific act, whereas a chemical composition will include an assortment of ingredients.
What is the length of time a patent will last? While utility patents are valid for 20 years from the date of the initial filing, they may be extended by delays in the Patent Office.
Are you considering the patentability of your ideas? Patents are only granted to the first-to-file applicants therefore you need to file your patent application quickly. Contact PatentPC today to file your patent application filed!
When you are writing an application for patents, you should do an internet search for patents, since the search can provide an insight into the other applicants’ ideas. You’ll be able limit the nature of your invention. Additionally, you’ll be able to discover the latest technological advancements in your field of invention. This will help you to understand the scope of your invention and prepare for the filing of the patent application.
How to Search for Patents
The first step in getting your patent is to perform an internet search for patents. You can do a google patent search or do a USPTO search. After the patent application has been filed, the item that is covered by the patent application could be called patent-pending, and you can find the patent application on a public pair. When the patent office is satisfied with your application, you will be able do a patent number look to find the patent issued. The product you are selling will be patentable. You can also use the USPTO search engine. See below for details. Patent lawyers or a patent attorney can advise you on the procedure. In the US Patents are granted by the US patent and trademark office or the United States patent and trademark office, which is also responsible for examining trademark applications.
Interested in finding more similar patents? Here are the steps to follow:
1. Think of terms that describe your invention according to its function, composition, or use.
Begin by writing down a concise and precise description of your invention. Do not use generic terms like “device”, “process”, and “system”. Instead, consider synonyms to the terms you selected initially. Also, keep track of important technical terms as well as keywords.
Utilize the following questions to help you determine key words or concepts.
- What’s the purpose of this invention? Is it a utilitarian device or an ornamental design?
- Is the invention a way of making something or performing a function? Is it an object?
- What is the composition and function of the invention? What is the physical structure of the invention?
- What is the purpose of this invention?
- What are technical terms and keywords that describe the essence of an invention? A technical dictionary can assist you to locate the right phrases.
2. These terms will enable you to look up relevant Cooperative Patent Classifications at Classification Search Tool. If you’re not able to find the right classification for your invention, look through the classification’s class Schemas (class schedules). If you do not get results from the Classification Text Search, you might want to think about substituting the words for describing your invention with synonyms.
3. Examine the CPC Classification Definition for confirmation of the CPC classification you have found. If the chosen classification is a blue box that has the letter “D” on its left, the link will direct you to the CPC description of the classification. CPC classification definitions will help you determine the applicable classification’s scope so that you can choose the most relevant. The definitions could also contain search tips or other suggestions which could prove useful in further study.
4. Retrieve patent documents with the CPC classification from the Patents Full-Text and Image Database. You can review and find the relevant patent publications focusing first on the abstract and representative drawings.
5. Use this selection of the most pertinent patent documents to study each one in depth for any the similarities to your idea. Pay close attention to the claims and specifications. Contact the applicant as well as the patent examiner for additional patents.
6. You can retrieve the patent application that has been published and fit the CPC classification you selected in Step 3. It is also possible to use the same search strategy that you utilized in step 4 to limit your search results to the most relevant patent applications by reviewing the abstracts and representative drawings on every page. Next, examine all published patent applications carefully with particular attention paid to the claims, and other drawings.
7. Find other US patents by keywords searching in PatFT and AppFT databases, searching for classification of non-U.S. patents as described below, and searching non-patent literature disclosures of inventions using web 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:
- European Patent Office (EPO) provides esp@cenet to access a network of Europe’s patent databases with access to machine translation of European patents.
- Japan Patent Office (JPO) – with access to machine translations of Japanese patents.
- World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) offers PATENTSCOPE with a full-text search of published international patent applications and machine translations for some documents, as well as a list of international patent databases.
- Korean Intellectual Property Rights Information Service (KIPRIS)
- State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) with machine translation of Chinese patents.
- Other International Intellectual Property Offices with online patent databases include Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, Israel, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and Taiwan.
- 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.