Patents by Inventor John C. DiFonzo

John C. DiFonzo has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Publication number: 20200169035
    Abstract: An electrical plug and receptacle relying on magnetic force from an electromagnet to maintain contact are disclosed. The plug and receptacle can be used as part of a power adapter for connecting an electronic device, such as a laptop computer, to a power supply. The plug includes electrical contacts, which are preferably biased toward corresponding contacts on the receptacle. The plug and receptacle each have a magnetic element. The magnetic element on one of the plug or receptacle can be a magnet or ferromagnetic material. The magnetic element on the other of the plug or receptacle is an electromagnet. When the plug and receptacle are brought into proximity, the magnetic attraction between the electromagnet magnet and its complement, whether another magnet or a ferromagnetic material, maintains the contacts in an electrically conductive relationship.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 24, 2019
    Publication date: May 28, 2020
    Applicant: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Matthew Dean Rohrbach, Mark Edward Doutt, Bartley K. Andre, Kanye Lim, John C. DiFonzo, Jean-Marc Gery
  • Publication number: 20200107098
    Abstract: A component for an electronic device can include a metal alloy formed by a metal injection molding process. The metal alloy can have a composition of about 32 wt % to about 38 wt % cobalt and about 62 wt % to about 68 wt % iron.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 12, 2019
    Publication date: April 2, 2020
    Inventors: John C. DiFonzo, Abhijeet Misra, Charles J. Kuehmann, Daniel T. McDonald
  • Patent number: 10605774
    Abstract: A magnetic image system for providing a visible image includes a magnetic substrate having a first and a second opposing surface and formed of material that is magnetized into a pattern of magnetized regions corresponding to the visible image, the magnetized regions forming a magnetic surface having a size and a shape in accordance with the visible image and a magnetic property corresponding to a visible image property, wherein the magnetic surface is rendered visible as the visible image using a magnetic imaging medium that interacts with the magnetic surface in accordance with the magnetic property.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2020
    Assignee: APPLE INC.
    Inventors: John C. DiFonzo, Jean-Marc Gery
  • Publication number: 20200096579
    Abstract: A portable computing device that includes a base portion that carries an audio module and a display housing that carries a display is disclosed. The display housing is coupled with, and rotatable with respect to, the base portion. The display housing includes a magnet, and the base portion includes a magnetic field sensor that detects an external magnetic field of the magnet. The magnetic field sensor provides a signal that deactivates the display. In order to reduce layout changes in the portable computing device, the magnetic field sensor is positioned in an audio housing that carries the audio module. However, the magnetic field sensor is designed and oriented to detect the magnetic field from the magnet in the display housing and effectively ignore magnets associated with the audio module. In order to reduce the amount of electrical connections, the magnetic field sensor is electrically coupled to the audio module.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 11, 2019
    Publication date: March 26, 2020
    Inventors: Nicholas A. RENDA, Jonathan L. BERK, Dylan A. SARACCO, John C. DIFONZO, Alexander V. SALVATTI, Eric J. WEIRSHAUSER
  • Patent number: 10571973
    Abstract: An electronic device can include a first and second portions that are pivotally coupled to each other so that the electronic device can have at least a closed configuration and an open configuration. A magnetic sensor system can be carried by the electronic device to detect the closed configuration so that the electronic device can automatically turn to a mode, such as a sleep mode, when the electronic device is bought to the closed configuration. A magnetic sensor can have a detection axis that targets a horizontal component of a magnetic field. A triggering magnetic element can be laterally offset relative to the magnetic sensor. The magnetic sensor can also be a magneto-resistive sensor. The electronic device can also include a second set of magnetic sensor system to confirm when the electronic device is brought to the closed configuration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 2017
    Date of Patent: February 25, 2020
    Assignee: APPLE INC.
    Inventors: Chi Xu, Houtan R. Farahani, Richard D. Kosoglow, John C. DiFonzo
  • Publication number: 20200024492
    Abstract: This application relates to an assembly technique for joining parts using a magnetic adhesive. A liquid adhesive including magnetic particles is provided, the liquid adhesive having sufficient properties that allow the adhesive to flow under the influence of a magnetic field prior to curing. A method for joining parts includes the steps of applying an adhesive to a substrate at a location corresponding to the joint, placing a magnetic element proximate the joint to generate a magnetic field that interacts with the magnetic particles in the adhesive to cause the adhesive to flow in a direction corresponding to the magnetic field, and curing the magnetic adhesive under the influence of the magnetic field. An assembly fixture for joining parts includes a magnetic element and, optionally, an inductive heating element. The assembly technique can be used to form a housing of an electronic device from two or more components.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 16, 2018
    Publication date: January 23, 2020
    Inventors: John C. DIFONZO, Tyler J. EWING, Nathan MORRIS, David S. HERMAN
  • Patent number: 10490933
    Abstract: An electrical plug and receptacle relying on magnetic force from an electromagnet to maintain contact are disclosed. The plug and receptacle can be used as part of a power adapter for connecting an electronic device, such as a laptop computer, to a power supply. The plug includes electrical contacts, which are preferably biased toward corresponding contacts on the receptacle. The plug and receptacle each have a magnetic element. The magnetic element on one of the plug or receptacle can be a magnet or ferromagnetic material. The magnetic element on the other of the plug or receptacle is an electromagnet. When the plug and receptacle are brought into proximity, the magnetic attraction between the electromagnet magnet and its complement, whether another magnet or a ferromagnetic material, maintains the contacts in an electrically conductive relationship.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 2018
    Date of Patent: November 26, 2019
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Matthew Dean Rohrbach, Mark Edward Doutt, Bartley K. Andre, Kanye Lim, John C. DiFonzo, Jean-Marc Gery
  • Publication number: 20190220065
    Abstract: This application relates to hidden fasteners within an electronic device. An electronic device can include a top portion and a base portion that includes a housing and a cover attached to the housing by at least one fastener that is not visible through an external surface of the cover. Each fastener includes a receiver housing that retrains spherical components and a pin that can be inserted into an opening in the receiver housing. The pin is retained in the receiver housing by a force imparted against a surface of the pin by the spherical components, which are biased towards an inner surface of the receiver housing sloped towards the opening. The pin can be released when an external magnetic field from a magnet placed proximate the bottom surface of the receiver housing retracts the spherical components away from the opening, thereby reducing the force against the surface of the pin.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 15, 2019
    Publication date: July 18, 2019
    Inventors: Simon Regis Louis LANCASTER-LAROCQUE, Kent JOHNSTON, Michael MALONEY, John C. DIFONZO, Gurshan DEOL, Kamal H. HABBOUB, Keith J. HENDREN, Karan BIR, Steven J. OSBORNE, Christiaan A. LIGTENBERG
  • Patent number: 10312623
    Abstract: Spring-loaded contacts having an improved reliability. One example may provide spring-loaded contacts having a reduced likelihood of entanglement between a spring and a plunger. For example, a piston may be placed between a plunger and a spring. The piston may have a head portion that is wider than the diameter of the spring and located between the spring and the plunger to isolate the spring and the plunger. In these and other examples, an additional object, such as a sphere, may be placed between the plunger and spring. In another example, two additional objects, such as two spheres, may be placed between a plunger and piston.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 2, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2019
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Min Chul Kim, John C. DiFonzo
  • Publication number: 20190036271
    Abstract: An electrical plug and receptacle relying on magnetic force from an electromagnet to maintain contact are disclosed. The plug and receptacle can be used as part of a power adapter for connecting an electronic device, such as a laptop computer, to a power supply. The plug includes electrical contacts, which are preferably biased toward corresponding contacts on the receptacle. The plug and receptacle each have a magnetic element. The magnetic element on one of the plug or receptacle can be a magnet or ferromagnetic material. The magnetic element on the other of the plug or receptacle is an electromagnet. When the plug and receptacle are brought into proximity, the magnetic attraction between the electromagnet magnet and its complement, whether another magnet or a ferromagnetic material, maintains the contacts in an electrically conductive relationship.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 28, 2018
    Publication date: January 31, 2019
    Applicant: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Matthew Dean Rohrbach, Mark Edward Doutt, Bartley K. Andre, Kanye Lim, John C. DiFonzo, Jean-Marc Gery
  • Patent number: 10121581
    Abstract: An article having a multiple magnetic polarities and a method for making the article are disclosed. The article can be a monolithic substrate form from a metallic material or materials. The article may include a first magnetic polarity and a second magnetic polarity opposite the first magnetic polarity. Methods for making the article include provide either providing a monolithic substrate having a first magnetic polarity, or applying a first magnetic field to the monolithic substrate to impart a first magnetic polarity. The method may also include raising the temperature of the monolithic substrate in order to reduce the coercivity of the monolithic substrate. The temperature of the monolithic substrate may also be selectively raised to lower the coercivity of the monolithic substrate in associated areas. By lowering the coercivity, the second magnetic polarity may be imparted on the monolithic substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 6, 2018
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Hao Zhu, John C. DiFonzo, Sean S. Corbin
  • Publication number: 20180314316
    Abstract: An electronic device can include a first and second portions that are pivotally coupled to each other so that the electronic device can have at least a closed configuration and an open configuration. A magnetic sensor system can be carried by the electronic device to detect the closed configuration so that the electronic device can automatically turn to a mode, such as a sleep mode, when the electronic device is bought to the closed configuration. A magnetic sensor can have a detection axis that targets a horizontal component of a magnetic field. A triggering magnetic element can be laterally offset relative to the magnetic sensor. The magnetic sensor can also be a magneto-resistive sensor. The electronic device can also include a second set of magnetic sensor system to confirm when the electronic device is brought to the closed configuration.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 28, 2017
    Publication date: November 1, 2018
    Inventors: Chi XU, Houtan R. FARAHANI, Richard D. KOSOGLOW, John C. DIFONZO
  • Patent number: 10090618
    Abstract: An electrical plug and receptacle relying on magnetic force from an electromagnet to maintain contact are disclosed. The plug and receptacle can be used as part of a power adapter for connecting an electronic device, such as a laptop computer, to a power supply. The plug includes electrical contacts, which are preferably biased toward corresponding contacts on the receptacle. The plug and receptacle each have a magnetic element. The magnetic element on one of the plug or receptacle can be a magnet or ferromagnetic material. The magnetic element on the other of the plug or receptacle is an electromagnet. When the plug and receptacle are brought into proximity, the magnetic attraction between the electromagnet magnet and its complement, whether another magnet or a ferromagnetic material, maintains the contacts in an electrically conductive relationship.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 16, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 2, 2018
    Assignee: APPLE INC.
    Inventors: Matthew Dean Rohrbach, Mark Edward Doutt, Bartley K. Andre, Kanye Lim, John C. DiFonzo, Jean-Marc Gery
  • Patent number: 10054985
    Abstract: A multipart computer housing is described. The multipart computer housing includes at least a structural support layer and a body. The body includes at least an outer layer formed of lightweight flexible material and an inner layer attached to the outer layer. The inner layer is connected to the support layer forming a load path between the inner layer and the structural support layer. A load applied to the multipart computer housing is transferred by way of the load path to the support layer without substantially affecting the outer layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2016
    Date of Patent: August 21, 2018
    Assignee: APPLE INC.
    Inventors: John Raff, Bartley K. Andre, Laura Deforest, John C. DiFonzo, Zheng Gao, Michelle Goldberg, Bradley J. Hamel, Timothy S. Hibbard, Ron Hopkinson, William F. Leggett, Chris Ligtenberg, Gavin J. Reid, Charles A. Schwalbach
  • Patent number: 10031559
    Abstract: An electronic device (such as a laptop) may selectively latch a base to a lid using a switchable magnet array. In particular, a drive circuit in the electronic device may apply at least a current pulse to a conductor that generates a magnetic field to reverse a direction of a remnant magnetization in the switchable magnet array. By reversing the direction of the remnant magnetization, the electronic device may selectively increase or decrease a magnetic field generated by the switchable magnet array at an attraction plate in the electronic device. This magnetic field may, in turn, result in an attractive force between the switchable magnet array and the attraction plate, thereby selectively latching the base and the lid when the base and the lid are proximate to each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 24, 2018
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Bradley J. Hamel, Christiaan A. Ligtenberg, John C. Difonzo, Jean-Marc Gery
  • Patent number: 10024689
    Abstract: This application relates to devices that utilize magnets and associated magnetic sensors. A magnetic sensor can be positioned and oriented with respect to a magnetic element such that the magnetic sensor is capable of detecting a horizontal magnetic field component in contrast to the conventional paradigm of detecting a vertical magnetic field component. This can be accomplished by orienting a magnetically sensitive surface of the magnetic sensor about ninety degrees with respect to a magnetic vector of the magnetic element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 17, 2018
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Hao Zhu, John C. DiFonzo, Guangtao Zhang, Rizal Johari, Samuel Gilkison Smith, Sean S. Corbin, Erik A. Uttermann
  • Patent number: 10006974
    Abstract: An automated magnet quality measurement system includes a magnet measuring component and an automated magnet moving component. The magnet measuring component can be configured to measure EMF for a plurality of magnets. The automated magnet moving component can move each of the plurality of magnets into and out of the magnet measuring component without requiring any manual intervention, with only one of the plurality of magnets being within the magnet measuring component at a given time. The magnet measuring component can be a Helmholtz coil and the automated magnet moving component can be a rotating disk. The overall system can also include a loading system configured to load each of the magnets onto the automated magnet moving component on an individual and sequential basis, and a sorting system configured to sort the magnets based upon their EMF measurements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 21, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 26, 2018
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: John C. Difonzo, Maurizio Bertoldo
  • Publication number: 20180090867
    Abstract: Spring-loaded contacts having an improved reliability. One example may provide spring-loaded contacts having a reduced likelihood of entanglement between a spring and a plunger. For example, a piston may be placed between a plunger and a spring. The piston may have a head portion that is wider than the diameter of the spring and located between the spring and the plunger to isolate the spring and the plunger. In these and other examples, an additional object, such as a sphere, may be placed between the plunger and spring. In another example, two additional objects, such as two spheres, may be placed between a plunger and piston.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 2, 2017
    Publication date: March 29, 2018
    Applicant: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Min Chul Kim, John C. DiFonzo
  • Patent number: 9923301
    Abstract: Power cables that include plug housings having an improved appearance as well as employ a halogen-free cable while providing adequate fire resistance. One example provides a power cable having cable plug with a substantially unitary body. Another example provides a power cable that is formed using halogen-free materials. To provide adequate fire protection, a strain relief formed using multiple materials is used.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 7, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2018
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Zheng Gao, John C. DiFonzo, Joshua Banko, Min Chul Kim
  • Patent number: 9897465
    Abstract: A sleep mode system for an electronic device can include a magnetic component and a proximately located sensor configured to detect magnetic field properties that vary with a variable rotation of the magnetic component. The magnetic component can rotate with one device component, such as a laptop lid, while the sensor remains stationary with another device component, such as a laptop base. A controller can determine the orientation angle of the magnetic component based on the detected properties, and can put the device into or remove the device from a sleep mode based on the angle, which can reflect an open state or closed state for the electronic device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 2015
    Date of Patent: February 20, 2018
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: John C. DiFonzo, Jean-Marc Gery