Ford Global Technologies, LLC (Dearborn, MI)

A source of power is connected to a ground unit that is electrically connected to. This allows for hands-free charging. Ground unit contains an energy-storage device, a robotic coupler and connector. The actuator is designed to move the connector to be in contact with a vehicle charging port. The actuator is powered by an energy storage device. A switch arrangement is designed to electrically connect the source of power to the energy-storage device as well as to the connector. A controller is programmed to upon receiving the request to charge a vehicle, connect the connector to the charge port when the connector is physically disconnected from power sources by using an internal source of power.

A person might be able to connect a vehicle to a plug that allows the connection to an external power source. For charging purposes, the operator may connect and disconnect the charging cable by hand. This setup could enable the driver to charge the battery of the vehicle in various locations.

A hands-free charging device consists of an electrical power source and ground unit which are electrically connected to each other. Ground unit includes an energy-storage device and a robot coupler that has a connector and an actuator that can be used to move the connector into contact with a vehicle charging port. The energy storage device is designed to power the actuator. A switch arrangement is set up to selectively electrically connectthe power source to the energy-storage device as well as to the connector. In response to an request to charge an automobile, a controller can (i) command a switching arrangement to disconnect the connector from power source; (ii) the command an actuator to move using energy-storage devices’ power to couple the connector and the vehicle’s charge ports, while the connector remains disconnected from power sources and (iii). The controller can command the switching arrangement to connect the connector with a the power source when the connector has been coupled to the port for charging in the vehicle.

Another method of charging hands-free involves an electric vehicle supply device (EVSE) that can be used to connect to a power source. Additionally, it has the ability to switch. A ground unit is connected to theEVSE by a cable. Ground unit houses an energy storage device as well as a robot coupler, and an actuator that can move a connector to engage with a vehicle charger port. The energy storage device is set up to power the actuator. A controlleris programmed to, in response to a request to charge a vehicle, (i) command the switching arrangement such that the ground unit is electrically disconnected from the power source, (ii) command movement of the actuator, using power from the energy-storagedevice, to couple the connector to the vehicle charge port while the ground unit is electrically disconnected from the power source, and (iii) command the switching arrangement such that the ground unit is electrically connected to the power source oncethe connector is coupled to the vehicle charge port.

According to yet another model, a hands-free charging device includes a connector that can connect to a vehicle charging port, an energy storage device, and an actuator configured to connect the connector autonomously to the vehicle. Amethod of charging a vehicle using the charging system comprises, when a user requests to charge a vehicle: using a switch arrangement of the hands-free charging system to remove the actuator the connector from power grid; operating the actuator with the power of the energy storage device, to connect the connector with the charge port while the connector and the actuator are electrically disconnected from the power grid; using the switch arrangement to electrically connect the connector to the power grid, and then charging the vehicle with the grid.

Click here to view the patent on USPTO website.

Get Patents with PatentPC

What is a patent?

The government grants patents to protect an invention, a patent provides the inventor with exclusive rights to develop, utilize, market and promote the invention?society benefits when a innovative technology is introduced to the market. These benefits could be directly realized as people are able to accomplish feats previously unattainable, or indirectly through the economic opportunities that innovation provides (business growth, employment).

Patent protection is sought by a variety of university researchers and drug companies to aid in their research and development. Patents can be granted for a product, process, or method of creating new materials. Patent protection must be granted to an invention that is beneficial or novel and is not previously known to others in the same area.

Patents recognize and give inventors a reward for commercially successful inventions. They serve as a motivator for inventors to come up with new ideas. Patents permit inventors and small businesses to be confident that there’s an excellent chance that they will be paid back for their time, effort, and money invested in technological development. They could earn a living by their work.

Patents are essential to companies, and they can:

Create and protect innovative products and services;

Increase the visibility and value of your products ‘ presence on the market

Make your company and products stand out from others;

Get technical and business information.

Beware of accidentally using content from third parties or loosing valuable data, creative outputs or any other creative output.

Patents effectively transform the inventor’s information into a tradeable asset which opens new opportunities for employment creation and business expansion through licensing or joint ventures.

Investors involved in the commercialization and development of technology may find small companies with patent protection more appealing.

Patenting can generate new ideas and new inventions. This information could encourage the development of new ideas and could qualify for protection under patents.

Patents can be used to stop untrustworthy third-party companies from earning through the work of inventions.

Revenues from patent-protected technology that are commercially successful can be used to finance the development of technology through research and development (R&D), which will improve the chances of developing better technology in the coming years.

You can use the ownership of intellectual property to convince investors and lenders that your product has commercial value. Sometimes, one powerful patent can open the door to multiple financing options. Patents can be used along with other IP assets as collateral or security for financing. You may also present investors with your patent assets to boost the value of your business. Forbes and other publications have reported that each patent could increase between $500,000 and a million dollars in company valuation.

Startups require a carefully-crafted business plan that builds on the IP to prove that your product/service is unique and superior or ingenuous. Investors will also be impressed if you have IP rights are secure or in the process of becoming secure, and that they support your business strategy.

It is crucial to keep an invention secret until you apply for patent protection. The public disclosure of an invention can frequently devalue its originality and invalidate it. Therefore, prior filing disclosures (e.g., for test-marketing investors, test-marketing, or for other business partners) should only be filed following the signing of a confidentiality agreement.

There are a variety of patents. Understanding 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 best as they protect the owner from copycats and other competition. Utility patents are often issued to improve or modify existing inventions. Utility patents can also be used to improve or modify existing inventions. A process patent would cover the acts or methods to perform a specific action. However, a chemical composition would include an amalgamation of components.

What’s the duration of a patent last? Utility patents last 20 years from the initial date of filing, however their expirations can be extended because of delays at the patent office for instance.

Are you considering the patenting of your idea? Since patents are only granted for first-to-file applicants, you need to file quickly – call PatentPC to speak with a patent attorney PatentPC to patent your idea now!

When you are writing a patent application it is recommended to conduct a patent search. the search will give you some insight into other people’s concepts. You’ll be able reduce the scope of your idea. You can also find out about the technological advancements in your area of invention. You’ll have a better idea of what your invention ought to be and be more prepared to submit the patent application.

How to Search for Patents

Patent searches are the very first step in obtaining your patent. You can do a google patent search or do a USPTO search. Patent-pending refers to the product protected by the patent application. You can use the public pair to locate the patent application. Once the patent office approves the patent application, you can perform a patent search to locate the patent that was issued and your product will now be patented. Alongside the USPTO search engine, you may also use other search engines, such as espacenet as described below. You can get help from an attorney for patents. Patents in the United States are granted by the US trademark and patent office or the United States Patent and Trademark office. This office also reviews trademark applications.

Interested in finding more similar patents? Here are the steps to follow:

1. Brainstorm terms to describe your invention, based on its purpose, composition, or use.

Write down a brief detailed explanation of your invention. Don’t use generic terms like “device”, “process,” or “system”. Consider synonyms for the terms you chose initially. Also, make note of key technical terms and keywords.

To help you identify keywords and concepts, use the questions below.

  • What is the purpose of the invention Is it a utilitarian device or an ornamental design?
  • Is invention a way to create something or perform some function? Are you referring to an item?
  • What is the purpose and composition of the invention? What is the physical structure?
  • What’s the objective of the invention?
  • What are the technical terms and phrases that define the nature of an invention? To assist you in finding the appropriate terms, use a technical dictionary.

2. These terms allow you to look up pertinent Cooperative Patent Classifications using the Classification Search Tool. To find the best classification for your invention, look through the resulting classification’s class Schemes (class schedules). Think about substituting the words that you’re using for describing your invention, if you don’t find any results in your Classification Text Search with synonyms like the ones you used in the first step.

3. Go through 3. Go over the CPC Classification Definition for the CPC Classification Definition to confirm the relevancy of the CPC classification you’ve located. If the chosen classification has a blue box with a “D” at its left, the hyperlink will take you to the CPC classification definition. CPC classification definitions can help you determine the applicable classification’s scope so that you can select the most relevant. Additionally the definitions may include search tips and other suggestions that could be useful for further research.

4. The Patents Full-Text Database and the Image Database allow you to retrieve patent documents that include the CPC classification. By focusing on abstracts and illustrations, you can narrow down your search for the relevant patent documents.

5. Use this selection of the most relevant patent publications to examine each in detail to find similarity to your idea. Be sure to read the specification and claims. Contact the applicant as well as the patent examiner for any additional patents.

6. You can retrieve published patent applications that match the CPC classification you chose in Step 3. You can also use the same method of search that you employed in Step 4 to narrow your search results to only the most relevant patent applications by looking over the abstracts as well as the drawings for each page. Next, carefully examine the patent applications that have been published, paying particular attention to the claims as well as additional drawings.

7. You can find additional US patent publications using keyword searches in AppFT or PatFT databases, and also classification searches to find non-U.S. Patents as described below. You can also make use of search engines on the internet to search non-patent literature disclosures about inventions. 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.