Interesting Patents | Thursday, April 27, 2023
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) grants hundreds of new patents every week, showcasing developments in technology and innovation. In our Interesting Patents series, we highlight exciting US patent applications and patents recently issued by the USPTO. The patent system enables the protection of innovative ideas, and newly published patent applications provide a glimpse into the future of technology and innovation.
In this edition of #InterestingPatents, we look at Case-Mate’s recent patent application for a Smartphone Case that creates the illusion of embedded gems and crystals.
A new patent-pending smartphone case offers a groundbreaking way to give electronic devices a luxurious and unique appearance without the use of actual gemstones. Utilizing optical illusions, the case features inner and outer plates with 3D impressions, reflective coatings, and holographic elements that align to create the appearance of embedded gems or crystals. Advanced manufacturing techniques, such as injection molding and non-conductive vacuum metallization, contribute to the visually stunning design. This innovative and cost-effective solution is set to revolutionize the way we personalize and protect our electronic devices, such as smartphones and other handheld devices.
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CASE WITH ILLUSORY DESIGN ELEMENTS
ASSIGNEE: Case-Mate, Inc
US PAT. Appl. NO. 17/451847
A new smartphone case has been published in a patent application, offering an innovative way to give your device a unique and luxurious appearance. This patent-pending technology creates the optical illusion of embedded gems or crystals within the case, giving it an elegant and eye-catching appearance without using actual gemstones. The patent application describes a case that creates an optical illusion of embedded 3D design elements. An inner plate is designed with 3D impressions, such as multifaceted crystal shapes, which are then coated with a reflective or metallic finish to enhance the reflection of light. The corresponding outer plate of the case may feature 3D impressions or holographic elements that align with the impressions on the inner plate. When the plates are assembled, the alignment of these impressions and design elements produces an optical illusion, giving the appearance of gems or crystals embedded within the case’s back panel.
The patent application describes several variations and manufacturing methods for the case. In some embodiments, the inner and outer plates may feature 3D impressions on only one side, partially extending through the thickness of the plates. The back panel may also consist of three or more layers with 3D impressions formed on both sides of the inner layers, creating the appearance of multi-layered embedded gems or crystals. The outer plate may be left unmodified as a flat plate without 3D impressions. Instead, a film with reflective or holographic elements can be applied to the outer plate to align with the 3D impressions on the inner plate.
The patent application described various manufacturing processes for producing the inner and outer plates and assembling the case. For the inner plate, injection molding can be used to create the desired arrangement of 3D impressions. A reflective or metallic coating, such as non-conductive vacuum metallization (NCVM), is then applied to the side of the inner plate with the 3D impressions. In certain situations, the metallic coating is applied using laser etching or by using removable adhesive and peeling off the excess coating. The outer plate can be produced using injection molding as well. In some cases, the outer plate is molded with 3D impressions that align with those on the inner plate. In other examples, a transparent holographic film with patterns resembling crystal top facets is applied to one side of the outer plate, which then aligns with the 3D impressions on the inner plate when assembled. The inner and outer plates can be joined together using various methods, such as locating features, adhesives, or injecting molten thermoplastic material between the plates. The assembly process is completed by securing a frame to the base panel assembly.
This smartphone case can be used with various electronic devices, such as cellphones and other handheld devices. The case provides a unique appearance, simulating the look of embedded gems, jewels, or crystals within the material of the case without the use of actual gemstones. This inventive design offers a cost-effective and visually appealing solution for users looking to personalize and enhance the appearance of their electronic devices. The technology described in this patent application provides a groundbreaking way to create a luxurious appearance without the need for actual gemstones. The use of 3D impressions and holographic elements combined with advanced manufacturing techniques results in a visually stunning optical illusion, making your device stand out from the crowd. With its elegant design, this new smartphone case is set to revolutionize the way we personalize and protect our electronic devices.
PATENT ABSTRACT & ART:Source: USPTO
A case having the appearance of 3D design elements embedded therein. The case generally comprises a back panel which incorporates a plurality of layers with impressions or recesses formed thereon. When aligned, the impressions create an optical illusion as if actual objects are embedded in the back panel of the case where no actual object is present. And a method of producing an optical illusion of embedded design elements in a case including the steps of forming a first panel with at least one first impression formed on a first side of the first panel, applying a reflective coating to the at least one first impression, forming a second panel, and joining the second panel to the first side of the first panel.
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