NGK SPARK PLUG CO., LTD. (Aichi, JP)

A technique to increase the resistance to corrosion of spark plugs. A spark plug that has an outer shell of metal and a nickel-plated coating on its outside. This protective film acts as a protection. The nickel-plated layer has a structure designed to be able to absorb chemical concentrations of the constituent elements are measured in a depth direction by an X-ray photoelectron-spectroscopy (XPS) the amount of carbon atoms ranges from 1.0 10% to 10.0% at a depth where the atomic density of Ni elements is about 80%.

A spark plug used for an ignition of internal combustion engines like a gasoline engine, includes an electrode with a shaft shape and a cylindrical insulator that holds the center electrode on the inner side thereof and a shell of metal that holds the insulator to the inner side thereof. The metal shell contains an L-shaped ground electrode which creates spark discharge gaps between center electrode and ground electrode. The ground electrode and the metal shell are usually made of iron-based materials, such as carbon and steel. The outer surfaces of the metal shell are treated with a plating treatment to avoid corrosion (See Japanese Document No. JP-A-2002-184552).

However, the metal shell includes regions, like an inner wall surface of a hole that is cylindrical in which the insulator is held and concave parts of the outer surface, that make it difficult for an electric current to flow in the plating bath. In addition, there is a possibility that the thickness of a plated layer to be formed becomes uniform. If the thickness of the layer is non-uniform, it may happen that a stress concentration occurs within a portion of the plated layer which is relatively small in its thickness during the process of crimping the shell, or any other similar process and accelerating the peeling off of the plating layer. It is an actual situation that there is no ingenuity been exercised so far in stopping the peeling away of the plated layer in order to make the thickness uniform and improving the corrosion resistance of the spark plug.

The invention has the aim of providing a method of making it more resistant to corrosion a spark plug.

The invention, having been contrived in order to address at least a portion of the heretofore described problem is able to be implemented in the following features or examples.

This invention is conceivable in various ways. It could be implemented as a fuel cells, a fuel system including the fuel cells, a vehicle that has the fuel system installed, or any other form.

Click here to view the patent on USPTO website.

Get Patents with PatentPC

What is a patent?

The government grants patents to safeguard an invention, patents give the inventor exclusive rights to develop, utilize to sell, and promote the invention? Society is benefited when a brand new technology is brought to the market. The benefits can be in direct terms, as it allows individuals to achieve previously impossible things, or indirectly through the economic opportunities (business expansion and job creation) that the innovation offers.

A lot of pharmaceutical firms and researchers from universities are seeking protection under patents for their research and development. Patents can be granted for the creation of a product, process or method of making new materials. Patent protection has to be granted to any invention that is beneficial or novel and is not already known by others in the same field.

Patents honor inventors who have commercially successful inventions. They provide a motivation for inventors to come up with new ideas. Patents allow entrepreneurs and inventors to be assured that there’s a good chance they will get a profit on their time, effort, and money invested in technological development. They can make a living by their work.

Patents are a crucial part of businesses with the ability to:

Secure your products and services

Improve the value, the popularity, and appeal of your product on the market;

Make your brand stand out from others.

Access to business and technical knowledge and information;

Beware of the possibility of using proprietary third-party content, or losing important information, creative outputs, or another creative output.

Patents effectively transform the inventor’s knowledge into a commercially tradeable asset, which creates new opportunities to create jobs and boost growth of business through joint ventures or licensing.

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

Patenting can lead to new inventions and ideas. This information could encourage the development of new ideas and could qualify to be protected by patents.

Patents are a way to stop untrustworthy third-party companies from earning through the work of inventions.

Patent-protected technology revenue that is commercially profitable could be used to fund technological research and development (R&D) which can increase the chance of better technology in the near future.

Intellectual ownership of property is a way to convince investors and lenders that there are real opportunities to commercialize your product. One powerful patent may provide many financing options. Patents can be used along with other IP assets as collateral or security financing. Investors are also able to view the patents you own to increase their company valuation. Forbes and others have pointed out that every patent can boost company valuation by anywhere from $500,000 to $1 Million.

A well-constructed business plan is essential for start-ups. It must be based on IP and show the way your product or service stands out. In addition, investors will be impressed when you demonstrate that your IP rights are secure or on the verge of becoming secure and they are in line with your business plan.

It is essential to keep an invention secret until you apply for patent protection. The public disclosure of an invention prior to its filing frequently degrade its originality and make it ineligible for patent protection. Therefore, pre-filing disclosures (e.g. for testing marketing investors, investors, or for other business partners) should only be made upon signing a confidentiality contract.

There are a variety of patents, and understanding the different types is crucial to protect your invention. Utility patents cover inventions and processes that are new. Design patents cover ornamental designs. Utility patents are best and protect the owner against copycats and other competitors. In most cases they are granted to improve or modify existing inventions. They can also be used to enhance or alter existing inventions. A process patent would cover the acts or methods of performing a particular act. But, a chemical composition will include a combination of ingredients.

What’s the duration of a patent last? Although utility patents last up to 20 years from their initial filing, they may be extended by delays in the patent office.

Are you thinking of patenting your ideas? Patents are only granted to applicants who are the first to file, therefore you need to file your patent application quickly. Call PatentPC now to have your patent application submitted!

Patent searches are an essential step when you’re writing the patent application. This will allow you to discover other ideas and give you insight into the potential of them. This can help you restrict the scope of your idea. Furthermore, you’ll be aware of the current state of technological advancements in your field of innovation. This will help you to know the extent of your invention and prepare you to file your patent application.

How to Search for Patents

A patent search is the first step in obtaining your patent. You can do a google patent search or do a USPTO search. After the patent application has been filed, the product covered by the application can be called patent-pending, and you can find the patent application on a public pair. After the patent office approves your application, you will be able to do a patent number look to find the patent granted. Your product is now patent-able. Alongside the USPTO search engine, you can also utilize other search engines such as espacenet, as detailed below. It is possible to seek help from an attorney who specializes in patents. Patents granted in the United States are granted by the US trademark and patent office, also known as the United States patent office and trademark office. The office also evaluates trademark applications.

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

1. Brainstorm terms that describe your invention based on the purpose, composition and usage.

Start by writing down a brief detailed description of your idea. Be sure to avoid using terms that are generic such as “device,” “process,” and “system.” Instead, consider synonyms to the terms you chose initially. Also, keep track of significant technical terms as well as key words.

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 inventing a method to make something or carry out some function? Does it constitute a product?
  • What is the nature and purpose of the invention? What is the physical makeup of the invention?
  • What is the goal of the invention?
  • What are the terms in the technical field and keywords used to describe an invention’s nature? A technical dictionary can help you locate the right words.

2. Utilize these terms to locate relevant Cooperative Patent Classifications on the Classification Text Search Tool. If you’re unable to find the right classification for your invention, go through the class Schemas (class schedules). You may want to consider substituting the terms you’re using to describe your invention if you fail to find any results in your Classification Text Search with synonyms similar to the words you used in step 1.

3. Go through 3. Go over the CPC Classification Definition to verify the relevancy of the CPC classification that you have discovered. If the classification you have selected is a blue box that has a “D” to its left, clicking on the hyperlink will take you to the CPC classification definition. CPC classification definitions can be used to determine the scope of the classification, so you are certain to choose the one that is appropriate. They may also provide some search tips or other recommendations that could be helpful for further investigation.

4. The Patents Full-Text Database and the Image Database allow you to find patent documents that are accompanied by the CPC classification. By focusing your search on abstracts and representative drawings you can narrow your search to find the most relevant patent publications.

5. This list of patent publication is the most appropriate to look at for any similarities to your idea. Be sure to read the claims and specification. It is possible to find additional patents by referring to the patent examiner and the applicant.

6. You can retrieve published patent applications that meet the CPC classification you selected in Step 3. You can also use the same strategy of searching you utilized in step 4 to limit down your results to just the most relevant patent applications by looking over the abstracts and drawings on every page. After that, you must review all published patent applications carefully and pay particular attention to the claims and other drawings.

7. Locate other US patents by keyword searching in PatFT or AppFT databases, searching for classification of non-U.S. patents according to below, and searching non-patent literature disclosures of inventions using web search engines. Here are some 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.