Ricoh Company, Ltd. (Tokyo, JP)

It also contains a resin that can be used in toner. The resin is composed of an oligomer as well as a soft segment. The oligomer segment comprises a polyhydroxycarboxylic skeleton and an aromatic diol skeleton.

1. Technical Field

The present disclosure relates an agent for the production of toner, a printer using the resin, a developer that uses the toner, an image forming apparatus and method using the toner, as well as the method of making resin.

2. Description of Related Art

A device for electrophotography that produces an image, or produces a magnetic latent image, or electrostatic recording device, is used to develop the image into a toner. A latent electrostatic image that is created on an image-forming device or an electrostatic recording device, is then transformed into toner. The toner image is transferred onto a recording medium such as paper, and is then fixed through the use of heat etc.

Toner generally comprises resin particles in which colorant, charge controlling agent, etc., are dispersed, and is manufactured by various processes, such as pulverization, suspension polymerization, dissolution suspension, emulsion aggregation,phase-transfer emulsification, and elongation polymerization.

The resin particles may comprise one of the following: a thermoplastic resin such as styrene-acrylic , polyol resin. Polyester resin is stronger and durability, as well as the lower softening temperature, while having a greatermolecular weight and an increased glass transition temperature when compared with styrene-acrylic. This is why polyester resin is extensively used for toner especially requiring low temperature fixability. Particularly it is utilized for toner for full-color printing.

The composition of toners typically comprises 70% to 70% of binder resin. The majority of binder resins come from petroleum resources that are currently affected by depletion. Petroleum resources cause a problem of global warming as they discharge carbondioxide into the atmosphere when they are consumed. Binder resins made of plant resources have been suggested and used as toners. Since plant resources absorb carbon dioxide that is released from the atmosphere during growth, carbon dioxide emitted by plant resources is circulated between the plant resources and the air. Plant resources can help solve global warming and depletion. Polylactic acid, which is found readily, has been utilized as a binder for toner.

High crystallinity can be achieved using polylactic acids made of D-form and L-form. These polylactic acids are not soluble in organic solvents, and therefore they cannot be used for toners manufactured through an process in which binder resin is dissolving in organic solvents. Although polylactic acids may be utilized in the process of pulverization to remove large amounts of toner particles out of the classification process however, they are not recommended for.

Japanese Patent Application Publication No. 2008-262179 suggests mixing polylactic acids in the form of D-form and L-form to reduce the crystallinity. In this report it is shown that the solubility of organic solvents can be enhanced.

Japanese Patent Application Publication No. 08-302003 describes a copolymerized polylactic acid obtained by reacting lactic acid with a reaction product of an aromatic dicarboxylic acid with an aliphatic diol, having a low glass transitiontemperature of 60.degree. C. or less. Japanese Patent Application Publication No. 2007-112849 describes a copolymerized, polylactic acid with an amorphous fluorenone structure as well as the glass transition temperature of 60.degree. C.

Japanese Patent Nos. Each of Japanese Patent Nos. 4307367 and 3778955 propose the introduction of a soft segment into the binder resin.

A resin that could be used as a toner in accordance with certain methods. The resin is comprised of an oligomer and soft segment. The oligomer segment comprises a polyhydroxycarboxylic skeleton and an aromatic diol skeleton.

In accordance with certain examples, a toner can be provided. The above resin is included within the toner.

According to certain versions, a developer can be included. The developer includes the toner mentioned above.

According to certain embodiments, an image-forming apparatus and method are provided. The apparatus for image formation and method use the above-described toner.

A method of manufacturing resin is provided in accordance with certain embodiments. The method includes the step of reacting a hydroxycarboxylic acid or a cyclic ester thereof with an aromatic diol to obtain an oligomer having apolyhydroxycarboxylic acid skeleton and an aromatic diol skeleton. The method is further characterized by the process of resolving the oligomer using the soft material by using an elongating agent.

Click here to view the patent on USPTO website.

Get Patents with PatentPC

What is a patent?

Granted by the government to protect an invention, patents give the inventor with the exclusive right to create, use to sell, and market the invention? Society benefits when a new technology is introduced into the marketplace. These benefits could be directly realized as people can achieve previously unattainable feats, or indirectly via the economic opportunities which innovation can bring (business expansion, job creation).

Many drug companies and researchers at universities seek patent protection for their work and discoveries. Patents are granted for products, processes, or method for making new materials. To be granted patent protection an invention has to be novel, useful, and not obvious to others within the same subject.

Patents honor inventors who have commercially profitable inventions. They act as an incentive for inventors to come up with new ideas. Patents allow inventors and small businesses to be confident that there’s an excellent chance that they will be paid back for their time, effort and investment in technology development. They can earn money through their work.

Patents play essential roles in companies, and they can:

Create and protect the latest products and services;

Enhance the visibility and worth of your product’s presence on the market

Stand out and differentiate yourself and your product from others.

Access business and technical expertise and information;

Avoid the danger of accidentally using third-party proprietary content, or losing important information, creative outputs, or another creative output.

Patents transform inventors’ knowledge into a commercially tradeable asset, which creates new opportunities for job creation and business growth through licensing or joint ventures.

Investors who are involved in the development and commercialization of technology will find small businesses with patent protection more appealing.

Patents can result in new ideas and inventions. This information could be protected by patents.

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

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

You can use the intellectual property rights of your company to convince lenders and investors that your product is a viable commercial potential. A single patent could provide multiple financing opportunities. Patents and other IP assets are able to be utilized as collateral or security for financing debt. You can also show investors your patent assets to increase the value of your business. Forbes and others have noted that each patent could increase the value of a company by anything from $500,000 to $1 million.

Startups require a carefully-crafted business plan that is built on the IP to demonstrate that your product or service is unique superior, innovative, or superior. In addition, investors will be impressed if you demonstrate that your IP rights are secure or are in progress of being secure, and that they support your business strategy.

It is crucial to keep an invention secret until you submit a patent application for protection. A public disclosure of an invention could frequently devalue its originality and invalidate it. Thus, disclosures that are filed prior to filing (e.g., for test-marketing investors, test-marketing, or for other business partners) must only be done upon signing a confidentiality contract.

There are a variety of patents, and understanding the different types is crucial to protect your invention. Patents for utility cover techniques and machines. Design patents cover ornamental designs. Patents for utility are the most effective as they protect the owner from copycats and competition. Frequently they are granted for alterations or improvements to existing inventions. Utility patents can also be used to cover improvements and modifications in existing inventions. A process patent could describe the methods or actions of performing a particular act. But, a chemical composition could be a combination of components.

What is the typical length of patents? Although utility patents last up to 20 years from the initial filing, they can be extended by delays at the Patent Office.

Are you planning to protect your idea? As patents are only granted to first-time applicants You must make your application quickly. Contact an attorney for patents at PatentPC to protect your idea now!

A patent search is essential when you’re drafting a patent application. This will allow you to see other ideas and give you insights into the potential of them. You’ll be able reduce the scope of your invention. You can also learn about the technological advancements in your area of invention. This will assist you in understand the scope of your invention as well as prepare you for filing your patent application.

How to Search for Patents

The first step in obtaining your patent is to conduct a patent search. You can do a google patent search or do a USPTO search. Patent-pending refers to the product that has been protected by the patent application. You can search for the public pair to locate the patent application. After the patent office has approved the application, you will be able to perform a patent search to find the patent issued and your product has been granted patent. You can also utilize the USPTO search engine. Check out the following article for more information. It is possible to seek help from an attorney who specializes in patents. In the US patents are granted through the US patent and trademark office, or the United States patent and trademark office, which also examines trademark applications.

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

1. Brainstorm terms to describe your invention in relation to its intended and composition or use.

Start by writing down a succinct and precise description of your idea. Don’t use generic terms like “device”, “process,” or “system”. Think about synonyms for the terms you initially chose. Also, make note of key technical terms and key words.

To help you find the key words and concepts, try the questions below.

  • What’s the goal of this invention? Is it a utilitarian device or an ornamental design?
  • Is inventing a method to come up with something or to perform some function? Is it a product or process?
  • What is the structure of the invention? What is the physical makeup of the invention?
  • What is the goal of the invention?
  • What are the terms and phrases in the field of technology that describe an invention’s nature? A technical dictionary can assist you to identify the correct words.

2. Use these terms to search for relevant Cooperative Patent Classifications on the Classification Text Search Tool. If you’re not able to locate the correct classification to describe your invention, look through the classification’s class Schemas (class schedules) and try again. 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 the first step.

3. Go through the CPC Classification Definition to confirm the validity of the CPC classification you’ve found. The hyperlink to a CPC classification definition is available in the event that the title of the classification contains a blue box with “D” to its left. CPC classification definitions can assist you in determining the classification’s scope so that you can pick the one that is the most relevant. Furthermore the definitions may include some tips for searching and other information that could be useful for further research.

4. Find patent documents that have the CPC classification from the Patents Full-Text and Image Database. By focusing your search on abstracts and drawings that are representative it is possible to narrow your search to find the most relevant patent publications.

5. Take advantage of this list of most relevant patent publications to look at each in detail for similarity to your idea. Pay close attention to the specifications and claims. Consult the applicant and patent examiner to obtain additional patents.

6. You can retrieve published patent applications that meet the CPC classification you picked in Step 3. You can also use the same strategy of searching you used in Step 4 to narrow down your search results to the most relevant patents by reading the abstracts as well as the drawings for every page. Next, carefully examine the patent applications published with particular attention paid to the claims as well as additional drawings.

7. Find additional US patents using keywords searching in PatFT or AppFT databases, classification searching of non-U.S. patents as per below, and searching non-patent patent disclosures in the literature 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.