Patents Examined by Bernard Roskoski
  • Patent number: 6536942
    Abstract: An alarm electronic timepiece has a base member, an alarm indicator wheel supported on the base member for rotation, an an indicating member integrally connected to the alarm indicator wheel for rotation therewith to indicate alarm time. A spring member supports the alarm indicator wheel on the base member and regulates a rotation direction of the alarm indicator wheel. The spring member is integrally connected to the base member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 10, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 25, 2003
    Assignee: Seiko Instruments Inc.
    Inventor: Susumu Kotanagi
  • Patent number: 6477116
    Abstract: The present invention provides a rotation controller adjusting the speed of a rotary member (103). Phase difference compensating means (118) outputs a phase difference compensating signal (119) corresponding to a phase difference between a rotation signal of the rotary member (103) and a target signal, and frequency difference compensating means (114) outputs a frequency difference compensating signal (115) corresponding to a frequency difference between these signals. The rotary member (103) is braking-controlled by means of these signals. Use of the phase difference compensating signal (119) permits achievement of PLL control, and maintenance within the locking range allows a stable rotation control with a high response.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 23, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 5, 2002
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventors: Osamu Shinkawa, Tomio Ikegami, Kunio Koike
  • Patent number: 6473368
    Abstract: A portable device helps a person control food consumption to eat in a more relaxed manner so time is provided for the “appestat” in the human brain to signal the person that he/she is full before overeating, and to provide time for conversation when eating with others. The apparatus includes red and green lights (22, 20), a circuit (46) that controls energization of the lights, and a pushbutton switch (42) that operates a portion of a circuit. When the push button (44) is depressed the circuit energizes the red light (22) for a predetermined period such as 30 seconds (which can be varied), to indicate that the person should not eat while the red light is on. After the predetermined period, the circuit energizes the green light (20), to indicate that the person can take one or two bites of food at his/her convenience. As soon as the person takes the one or two bites, the person depresses the push button to cause the red light to be energized for the predetermined period.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 10, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 29, 2002
    Inventor: James S. Stanfield
  • Patent number: 6466521
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a sensor function-equipped portable device having a sensor function for detecting and displaying physical information, and it is an object of the present invention to provide a sensor function-equipped portable device that can ensure high resolution of A/D conversion and high reproducibility with use of only a single compact and inexpensive 1.5 V button-type silver cell. To achieve this object, the present invention comprises a sensor function-equipped portable device which is furnished with a cell as a low-voltage power source and a step-up power source circuit that elevates the low voltage of this cell to a high voltage, and in which the sensor drive circuit is directly driven by the low voltage of this cell and the amplifier circuit and the A/D converter circuit are driven by the high voltage elevated by the step-up power source circuit. The present invention makes it possible to perform sensor signal processing using a −1.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 1995
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2002
    Assignee: Citizen Watch Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Kazuya Mitaki
  • Patent number: 6466522
    Abstract: An indicating plate for a solar watch, comprising a color diffusion plate which, by virtue of the presence of a coloring agent, a coloring light diffusing agent, a colored translucent substrate, a pattern layer/colored thin film layer and a diffusion layer, is adapted to transmit a portion of light having a wavelength within a range capable of causing a solar cell housed under the indicating plate to generate power. The color diffusion plate is adapted to make it difficult to view the solar cell from the outside through the indicating plate and is also adapted to impart a color tone to the indicating plate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 4, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2002
    Assignee: Citizen Watch Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Hideki Yoshioka, Katsuyuki Yamaguchi, Nobuo Ito, Yoshio Katsuki, Noriyuki Totsuka
  • Patent number: 6463011
    Abstract: Analog display horological piece, comprising at least a step by step motor (18, 20) driving hands (MN, H) for displaying a time keeping information; means of controlling said step by step motor; position detectors (51-62) providing in angular sector defined on the piece, the activation of each of said position detectors enabling the selection of a predetermined digital piece of information (0-9, ×, ÷, +, −, =); means (36, 40) for inputting said selected digital piece of information; and means (22) for processing said digital information. The control means are adapted so that at least one of said hands (MN, H) is driven so that it indicates the angular sector corresponding to the position detector (51-62) which is activated so as to confirm the selection of the digital piece of information (0-9, ×, ÷, +, −, =).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 1995
    Date of Patent: October 8, 2002
    Assignee: Asulab S.A.
    Inventors: Michel Christen, Jean-Jacques Born
  • Patent number: 6459658
    Abstract: An electronic timepiece has a thermoelectric element for generating an electromotive force in response to a temperature difference thereacross. A booster circuit boosts the electromotive force generated by the thermoelectric element. A storage mechanism stores electrical power utilizing the electromotive force boosted by the booster circuit. A power monitoring circuit monitors the electromotive force boosted by the booster circuit to detect whether the boosted electromotive force is lower than a threshold value. An oscillation circuit is driven by electrical power stored in the storage mechanism. A dividing circuit frequency-divides a signal output by the oscillation circuit. A display mechanism is driven by a display driving circuit to display time in accordance with an output signal from the dividing circuit. A display drive controlling circuit stops operation of the display driving circuit when the power monitoring circuit detects that the boosted electromotive force is lower than the threshold value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 1, 2002
    Assignee: Seiko Instruments Inc.
    Inventors: Susumu Fujita, Tokuya Akase, Joichi Miyazaki, Yoshimitsu Kurasawa
  • Patent number: 6452872
    Abstract: Solid optical guide (10) with microprisms (20) of refractive index n, for uniformly illuminating a surface (4) in grazing incidence at an angle &thgr;1 in which a plane angle &dgr; of the cross-section develops with respect to the surface (4) a substantially perpendicular face (15) and a substantially parallel face (14), in which microprisms (20) are structured in hollows, one facet (21) of said microprisms oriented towards the face (15) has its edge (22) formed with the parallel face (14) inclined at an angle {right arrow over (&agr;)} with respect to the axis of the guide and its edge (23) formed with the perpendicular face (15) inclined at an angle {right arrow over (&ggr;)} with respect to the perpendicular to the surface to be illuminated, the values {right arrow over (&agr;)} and {right arrow over (&ggr;)} being determined from characteristics n, &thgr;1 and &dgr; of the guide.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 17, 2002
    Assignee: Asulab S.A.
    Inventors: Juan Manuel Teijido, Jean-Charles Poli, Joachim Grupp, Hans Peter Herzig
  • Patent number: 6449217
    Abstract: A time display is comprised of a low cost low accuracy RC oscillator. A series of pulses derived from this oscillator, for example, with a period of 1 second, is used for controlling a diode. An accurate time-display function of a car radio is also derived from this oscillator. This is possible as the main micro-controller periodically calibrates the low accuracy oscillator using a high accuracy crystal clock. Specifically, it measures the PC oscillator period in order to correct, in the micro-controller, the time issued from the RC oscillator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 1999
    Date of Patent: September 10, 2002
    Assignee: Siemens AG
    Inventors: Pascal Hayet, Alain Sauve
  • Patent number: 6443614
    Abstract: Embodiments of a wrist-worn instrument face display that has dot matrix indicating icons for programming or prompting the instrument. The icons may be single or combinations of symbols, numbers and text. In particular, the icons indicate a function of the instrument, and “point” to a specific function key located near the instrument face to indicate which key is to be pressed, and how many times it is to be pressed, and/or what plurality of keys are to be pressed and in what order, in order to obtain an identified, desired read-out on the instrument face or display. This way, operation of several functions, even ones requiring multiple keystrokes, may be easily accomplished by the user without referring to the operations manual.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 3, 2002
    Inventor: John Robert Read
  • Patent number: 6443615
    Abstract: A travel alarm clock has a body 10 incorporating normal clock components and a clock face 13. Two covers 14 and 15 fit over the body 10 and are spring biassed to the position shown in the Figure. For travelling, the covers 14 and 15 are closed against a front and rear surface of the body 10, respectively. The covers 14 and 15 are held closed by a button release lock (not shown). If the lock is pressed, the covers are automatically opened to raise up the body 10 and hold it in the upright position shown in the Figure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 2, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 3, 2002
    Assignee: C. C. & L Company Limited
    Inventor: Sik-Leung Chan
  • Patent number: 6439762
    Abstract: A timepiece, whose hands move by mechanical energy of a mainspring transmitted through a wheel train, includes a winding-up portion for accumulating energy in the mainspring, an addition and subtraction wheel train driven by addition and subtraction of accumulated energy corresponding to an amount by which the mainspring is wound up and unwound, respectively, an addition and subtraction wheel, disposed in the addition and subtraction wheel train, that rotates in correspondence with an amount by which the mainspring is wound up and unwound, and a lock mechanism actuated in response to the rotation of the addition and subtraction wheel to limit winding up and unwinding of the mainspring to a selected range of windings of the mainspring. This controls the torque output by the mainspring to a fixed range. The addition and subtraction wheel train allows efficient use of space, and can be incorporated in a watch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2002
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventors: Tatsuo Hara, Yoshihiko Momose
  • Patent number: 6442107
    Abstract: A luminous wristwatch capable of exhibiting a sense of play and ensuring safety of a wearer of the wristwatch. The luminous wristwatch includes a watch face and a belt member each provided thereon with a plurality of light emitters which carry out luminescence upon feeding of electricity thereto. The watch face and belt member each are formed to be light-permeable so that luminescence of the light emitters may be externally visible therethrough. Also, the luminous wristwatch includes a watch body which is provided with an operation button and a control section for controlling on-off operation of the light emitters upon operation of the operation button.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 21, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2002
    Assignee: Takara Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Yoshiro Takagi
  • Patent number: 6438072
    Abstract: A dual-liquid ornament is provided with an exclusive magnetic floating body driving mechanism in addition to clock movement, so that a magnetic floating body in the ornament is magnetically driven by the driving mechanism to move without adversely affecting the accuracy of the clock movement. The floating body driving mechanism is rebuilt from a mass-produced clock movement by employing the basic structure and most parts of the latter, such that a new gear shaft is provided to rotate at an increased rotary speed about 6 rpm. The new gear shaft is extended from a housing of the floating body driving mechanism and has a magnet carrier connected to an outer end thereof. When the new gear shaft is rotated, the magnet carrier rotates at the same time to drive the magnetic floating body to move in the ornament.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 20, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 20, 2002
    Inventor: Jui-An Tsai
  • Patent number: 6430112
    Abstract: From various traditional medical teachings, it is known that humans have a life rhythm which depends upon the time. As one example, there are the traditional Indian medical teachings of the “Ayurveda”. In the present invention, in order to display which time period of the Ayurveda corresponds to the present time, a character panel of a watch has been separated according to color into three wedge-shaped regions. The respective color-separated regions correspond to the Vata (V), the Kapha (K), and the Pitta (P) of the Ayurveda. The Ayurveda time is indicated by an hour hand which points to one of these regions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2002
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventor: Kazuhiko Amano
  • Patent number: 6428201
    Abstract: In a state in which a chronograph mechanism is not operated, a coupling lever 442 positions a second counting transmission pinion 212b such that the second counting transmission pinion 212b is separated from a second chronograph wheel 214. In a state in which the chronograph mechanism is operated, the coupling lever 442 is moved to rotate such that the chronograph mechanism is operated. As a result, the second counting transmission pinion 212b is in mesh with the second counting wheel 214. By bringing an outer peripheral portion 442f of a guide frame 442d into contact with a contact portion 202d of a chronograph bridge 202, movement of the coupling lever 442 is set.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 10, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2002
    Assignee: Seiko Instruments Inc.
    Inventors: Norio Shibuya, Takashi Takahashi, Mamoru Watanabe
  • Patent number: 6430110
    Abstract: A wristwatch includes an electronic device to form a multifunctional wrist worn device. The watch portion of the wristwatch can be shifted into a position that exposes the electronic device (e.g., telephone) so that the user can operate the electronic device. The keys are located on the periphery of the watch body. A display can be mounted on the back side of the watch portion so that when the watch portion is in the second position, the display is visible to the user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2002
    Inventor: Jean-Michel Baroche
  • Patent number: 6426920
    Abstract: To set the initial time in a clock managed by an operating system in a personal computer system, when the power is turned on, the ROM-BIOS of the personal computer system is checked and the operating system is booted. Next, the current time is read from a CMOS clock of the personal computer system and the time read is set as the initial time in a clock managed by the operating system. Then, the current time is read from the CMOS clock again and the read current time is compared with the time of the clock managed by the operating system. If the times do not match each other, the above reading and setting processes are repeated. Thus, the time managed by the CMOS clock and the time managed by the OS clock in a PC system can coincide so that the time managed by the OS clock can be reliable for application programs requiring an accurate real-time management.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 30, 2002
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Seok-am Kim
  • Patent number: 6424599
    Abstract: The bottle cap reminder device has a cap with an electronic counter means disposed within the cap. The electronic counter means progressively counts the time when activated and resets the time when deactivated. A power source preferably a battery provides the energy to run the electronic counter means. The power source is preferably housed within the electronic counter means and connected in circuit to the electronic counter means. A switching means is employed to activate and deactivate the electronic counter means. The switching means is comprised of a conductive contact lever connected in circuit to and extending from the electronic counter means, a conductive contact spring in conductive contact with the power source, and a conductive contact plate in conductive contact with the conductive contact spring.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 23, 2002
    Inventor: Albert F. Ditzig
  • Patent number: 6422739
    Abstract: A timepiece, whose hands move by mechanical energy of a mainspring transmitted through a wheel train, includes a winding-up portion for accumulating energy in the mainspring, an addition and subtraction wheel train driven by addition and subtraction of accumulated energy corresponding to an amount by which the mainspring is wound up and unwound, respectively, an addition and subtraction wheel, disposed in the addition and subtraction wheel train, that rotates in correspondence with an amount by which the mainspring is wound up and unwound, and a lock mechanism actuated in response to the rotation of the addition and subtraction wheel to limit winding up and unwinding of the mainspring to a selected range of windings of the mainspring. This controls the torque output by the mainspring to a fixed range. The addition and subtraction wheel train allows efficient use of space, and can be incorporated in a watch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 14, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 23, 2002
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventors: Tatsuo Hara, Yoshihiko Momose