Patents Represented by Attorney Robert J. Pechman
  • Patent number: 7277141
    Abstract: An optical body includes a substrate and a cholesteric liquid crystal layer disposed on the substrate. The cholesteric liquid crystal layer has a non-uniform pitch along a thickness direction of the layer and comprises a crosslinked polymer material that substantially fixes the cholesteric liquid crystal layer. The crosslinking hinders diffusion of cholesteric liquid crystal material within the cholesteric liquid crystal layer. In other methods of making an optical body, a reservoir of chiral material is provided during the process over a first cholesteric liquid crystal layer to diffuse into the layer and provide a non-uniform pitch. Alternatively, two coating compositions can be disposed on a substrate where the material of the first coating composition is not substantially soluble in the second coating composition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 31, 2005
    Date of Patent: October 2, 2007
    Assignee: 3M Innovative Properties Company
    Inventors: Richard J. Pokorny, Marc D. Radcliffe, Philip E. Watson, Christopher C. Bowley, Ikuko Ebihara
  • Patent number: 7277087
    Abstract: A touch sensing device includes a plurality of sensors and an emitting transducer coupled to a touch panel. The transducer induces bending waves in the touch panel. The sensors sense bending waves in the touch panel and generate a bending wave signal responsive to the sensed bending waves. A controller identifies an untouched condition signal responsive to the induced bending waves. The controller compares the untouched condition signal to the bending wave signal, and detects a touch on the touch panel based on the comparison.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 31, 2003
    Date of Patent: October 2, 2007
    Assignee: 3M Innovative Properties Company
    Inventors: Nicholas P. R. Hill, Darius M. Sullivan
  • Patent number: 7271379
    Abstract: A microresonator sensor apparatus has a microcavity resonator that defines equatorial whispering gallery modes (EWGMs), whose frequencies are separated by the free spectral range (FSR). The EWGMs lie in a plane perpendicular to a microcavity resonator axis. A light source is optically coupled to inject light into the microcavity resonator. The light source produces output light having an output spectrum whose bandwidth is approximately equal to or broader than the FSR of the EGWMs. One or more fluorescent materials are excited using the excitation light coupled into the microcavity resonator. A fluorescent signal arising from fluorescence of the one or more fluorescent materials is then detected.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 27, 2004
    Date of Patent: September 18, 2007
    Assignee: 3M Innovative Properties Company
    Inventors: Xudong Fan, Robert W. Wilson, Chunmei Guo
  • Patent number: 7245431
    Abstract: An assembly that includes a first reflective polarizer substantially reflecting light having a first polarization state and substantially transmitting light having a second polarization state, a polarization rotating layer or depolarizing layer (or both) positioned to receive light passing through the first reflective polarizer, and a second reflective polarizer positioned to receive light passing through the polarization rotating layer or depolarizing layer, the second reflective polarizer substantially reflecting light having a third polarization state back through the polarization rotating layer or depolarizing and substantially transmitting light having a fourth polarization state. Articles containing the assembly can be formed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2006
    Date of Patent: July 17, 2007
    Assignee: 3M Innovative Properties Company
    Inventors: Philip E. Watson, Keith M. Kotchick, Richard C. Allen
  • Patent number: 7229271
    Abstract: A process for stretching films is described. The process preferably stretches films in a uniaxial fashion. Preferably, optical films are stretched including multilayer optical films. Other aspects of the invention include a roll of stretched film and an apparatus for stretching films.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 2004
    Date of Patent: June 12, 2007
    Assignee: 3M Innovative Properties Company
    Inventors: William Ward Merrill, Jeffery N. Jackson, Andrew T. Ruff, John A. Wheatley, Dennis L. Krueger
  • Patent number: 7227538
    Abstract: A pattern for linearizing an electric field and a touch sensor incorporating same are disclosed. The touch sensor includes an electrically resistive film that covers a touch sensitive area. The touch sensor further includes two or more substantially parallel polygonal rows of electrically conductive segments disposed on the resistive film and surrounding the touch sensitive area. Each edge of each row has one or more middle electrically conductive segments disposed between two end electrically conductive segments. Gaps separate adjacent conductive segments in a row. A middle conductive segment in a row fully overlaps a middle conductive segment in an adjacent row. The overlap defines a full overlap region. The touch sensor further includes a discrete electrically insulative segment disposed in the resistive film in the full overlap region. The insulative segment increases the electrical resistance between the two middle conductive segments.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 2004
    Date of Patent: June 5, 2007
    Assignee: 3M Innovative Properties Company
    Inventors: Bemard O. Geaghan, Kenneth J. Keefer, B├╝lent Bulat
  • Patent number: 7196694
    Abstract: A touch screen uses one or more force sensors to determine location of the touch on the screen. The force sensor has an accurately determined direction of sensitivity and, therefore, has reduced sensitivity to forces that are non-perpendicular to the screen. The sensor is thin in relation to the area of the active force-sensing element, allowing low profile force touch screens to have a better combination of mechanical integrity, accuracy, sensitivity, and high signal to noise ratio than has heretofore been achieved. The sensor may also be rotationally soft, so that it is effective at preventing twisting motions of the overlay or the support surface from affecting the sensed force.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 12, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2007
    Assignee: 3M Innovative Properties Company
    Inventor: Jerry B. Roberts
  • Patent number: 7190350
    Abstract: A touch screen uses one or more force sensors to determine location of the touch on the screen. Bending or twisting of the touch screen overlay, or of the support structure upon which the touch screen is mounted, may result in the detection of undesirable forces by force sensors. These undesirable forces may distort the measurement of the location of the touch on the screen. The force sensor is arranged to reduce the effects of flexure on the determination of the location of the touch. For example, a rotational softener, such as a rotational bearing or a pliable material may be included with the force sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 12, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 13, 2007
    Assignee: 3M Innovative Properties Company
    Inventor: Jerry B. Roberts
  • Patent number: 7183948
    Abstract: Various techniques are provided for reducing the impact of tangential forces on touch location in a touch location device. For example, in one aspect, shunt connections are provided that impede lateral motion of the touch surface structure at the level of the touch plane, thereby reducing to insignificant magnitude reactions to tangential force passing through the sensing connections. In another aspect, sensing connections incorporate elastic means so adjusted as to turn that connection's reaction to tangential touch force perpendicular to its axis of sensitivity. In another aspect, sensing connections incorporate sensing means so adjusted as to turn that connection's axis of sensitivity perpendicular to its reaction to tangential force.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 13, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 27, 2007
    Assignee: 3M Innovative Properties Company
    Inventor: Jerry B. Roberts
  • Patent number: 7176897
    Abstract: A method and system are provided to correct one or more sensor signals having errors induced by a viscoelastic effect. The errors may be characterized using a combination of linear or non linear functions. The characterization of the errors may be used to reduce the errors from the sensor signals. In one aspect of the invention, the errors associated with a viscoelastic effect are reduced from the sensor signals by filtering the sensor signals, scaling the output of the filter circuit to produce correction factors and subtracting the correction factors from the sensor signals. Corrected sensor signals may be used to determine the location of a touch on a touch screen with improved accuracy.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 13, 2007
    Assignee: 3M Innovative Properties Company
    Inventor: Jerry B. Roberts
  • Patent number: 7176902
    Abstract: Bending wave vibrations propagating in a substrate of a touch input device are sensed. Provision is made for discriminating between sensed vibrations propagating in the substrate indicative of an intended touch and sensed vibrations propagating in the substrate indicative of an unintended touch. In response to the sensed vibrations propagating in the substrate indicative of the intended touch, a wake-up signal is generated. The wake-up signal is communicated to a control system of the touch input device for transitioning the control system from a sleep state to an operational state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 10, 2003
    Date of Patent: February 13, 2007
    Assignee: 3M Innovative Properties Company
    Inventors: Richard A. Peterson, Jr., Thomas J. Rebeschi
  • Patent number: 7158122
    Abstract: A method and system are provided to correct inaccuracies in touch location determination associated with mechanical distortion of the touch screen. Calibration parameters are provided for a touch screen characterizing an error in an expected touch signal associated with mechanical distortion of the touch screen. A force responsive touch signal having the error is detected and the touch location determined using the calibration parameters to correct the error in the touch signal. The calibration parameters are determined by applying mechanical distortion to the touch screen and characterizing the touch signal error associated with the mechanical distortion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 2, 2007
    Assignee: 3M Innovative Properties Company
    Inventor: Jerry B. Roberts
  • Patent number: 7154481
    Abstract: A touch sensing method and a touch sensing device are described for sensing a location of a touch. When the touch sensing device is touched, a first conductive layer disposed on a supporting layer is deflected toward a second conductive layer. The touch location is determined by sensing the change in capacitance at the location of the touch. A change in capacitance at the touch location is sensed by driving one of the conductive layers with an electrical signal referenced to the other conductive layer and measuring the current flow between the conductive layers. The sensed change in capacitance is greater than a change in the external capacitance of the touch sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 25, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 26, 2006
    Assignee: 3M Innovative Properties Company
    Inventors: Elisa M. Cross, Robert S. Moshrefzadeh, Anthony F. Chernefsky, Frank J. Bottari, Craig A. Cordeiro, Stephen C. Schulz, Michael J. Kardauskas
  • Patent number: 7151532
    Abstract: Optical component for use in a touch sensor and method of fabrication of same are disclosed. Optical component includes a multilayer optical film at least some layers of which are fabricated on the same manufacturing line and using the same manufacturing method. Each layer of the multilayer optical film is designed primarily to provide a desired associated property.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 19, 2006
    Assignee: 3M Innovative Properties Company
    Inventor: Stephen C. Schulz
  • Patent number: 7148882
    Abstract: The invention provides a novel capacitive device configured to detect differences in an applied force over a continuous range of applied force that includes zero force. The device includes first and second electrodes that are spaced apart a predetermined distance from each other in a rest position. A measurable capacitance exists between the first and second electrodes. Structured elements having a predetermined maximum dimension are positioned in the device to control the predetermined distance between the first and second electrodes. An applied force to the device causes a change in the distance between the first and second electrodes and a related change in the capacitance that can be measured to determine information related to the applied force.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2003
    Date of Patent: December 12, 2006
    Assignee: 3M Innovatie Properties Company
    Inventors: Robert F. Kamrath, Michael E. Hamerly, Billy L. Weaver
  • Patent number: 7109976
    Abstract: The present invention provides a display screen seal made of a rigid or semi-rigid material that includes a base having first and second surfaces, and a wall portion extending from the second surface. The base is configured to mount to the screen and be positioned between the screen and a structure residing adjacent the screen, such as a bezel or frame of the display, so that the wall portion inhibits foreign objects from passing between the screen and the adjacent structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 19, 2006
    Assignee: 3M Innovative Properties Company
    Inventor: Paul J. Cobian
  • Patent number: 7102624
    Abstract: A method of manufacturing a touch panel wherein a glass substrate is coated with a resistive layer; a pattern of conductive edge electrodes and a conductive wire trace pattern are applied to the resistive layer; the conductive edge electrodes are electrically isolated from the conductive wire traces; and a protective insulative border layer is applied over the edge electrodes and the wire traces. A touch panel which includes a glass substrate coated with a resistive layer on one surface thereof; a pattern of edge electrodes on the resistive layer; a wire trace pattern on the resistive layer; a trench in the resistive layer between the wire trace pattern and the edge electrode pattern; and a protective insulative border layer over the edge electrode pattern and the wire traces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 27, 2005
    Date of Patent: September 5, 2006
    Assignee: 3M Innovative Properties Company
    Inventors: Frank J. Bottari, Andrea C. Marble, Michele L. LaCourse
  • Patent number: 7102621
    Abstract: A method and apparatus is disclosed, particularly, though by no means exclusively, useful in touch-screen computer CRT display systems and the like, and more generally in other force and/or torque measurement systems, as in weighing and the like, in which (1) lineal and/or rotational acceleration of the system is sensed in response to inertial interference effects such as tilt or movement that introduce errors into the force and/or torque measurements, and/or (2) inertial error correction from the force data itself is obtained, such as derivative order corrections; and such data is used to correct the force and/or torque measurements. A novel calibration technique for deriving appropriately descriptive coefficients to the particular system for the correcting data, is also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 5, 2006
    Assignee: 3M Innovative Properties Company
    Inventor: Jerry B. Roberts
  • Patent number: 7077927
    Abstract: A method of applying an edge electrode pattern to a touch screen. The method includes depositing, on a first surface of a decal strip, conductive material in the form of an edge electrode pattern, placing the first surface of the decal strip on one edge of a touch screen, applying heat and pressure to an opposite surface of the decal strip until the edge electrode pattern is transferred from the first surface of the decal strip to the touch screen; and removing the decal strip.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 2003
    Date of Patent: July 18, 2006
    Assignee: 3M Innovative Properties Company
    Inventors: Frank J. Bottari, Andrea C. Marble
  • Patent number: 7019734
    Abstract: The present invention discloses resistive touch sensors that incorporate microstructured conductive layers. When local electrical contact is made between the microstructured conductive layer and an opposing conductive layer due to a touch input, the resulting signal can be used to determine the location of the touch. The microstructures can be used to penetrate a solid, deformable filler material disposed between the conductive layers, for example to provide more transmission of light through the sensor. The microstructures can also provide additional functionalities such as z-axis sensitivity, image direction, light control, light extraction, and so forth.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 28, 2006
    Assignee: 3M Innovative Properties Company
    Inventors: Elisa M. Cross, Robert S. Moshrefzadeh, Leland R. Whitney