Keyboards Patents (Class 235/145R)
  • Patent number: 6142367
    Abstract: The present invention is intended to enable an electronic calculator device for calculating functions to display a mathematical expression by automatically substituting a variable-value into a variable therein in advance. An electronic device comprises an input device for inputting a mathematical expression containing a variable, a store device for storing a value of the variable and a display device for displaying a mathematical expression on a display screen. The electronic device is further provided with a converting device for reading a value for a variable contained in a mathematical expression from the store device and substituting the read-out value into the variable in the mathematical expression to be displayed on the display screen.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 25, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 7, 2000
    Assignee: Sharp Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Akiyoshi Satoh, Toshiro Oba, Fumiaki Kawawaki
  • Patent number: 6108200
    Abstract: A handheld computer keyboard system for use in conjunction with small computerized apparatus such as Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) features a keyboard, a cover, and an I/O connector to allow a computerized apparatus to be connected to the keyboard. The system also features a retractable stabilizing leg for greater stability when the system is set on a flat surface. The system allows a user to input text and data into a device such as a PDA, which typically must be done with a stylus, with a more convenient keyboard. The cover for the system closes to protect the keyboard and provides a support easel for the PDA when the system is in use.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 17, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 22, 2000
    Inventor: Robert L. Fullerton
  • Patent number: 6059819
    Abstract: A therapeutic device for the inhibition of inflammatory diseases in biological tissue and a body part of user. The therapeutic device includes a body member having a work surface and a leading edge. A leading edge is positioned adjacent to the user so that the user extends at least a portion of the body part across the leading edge when working at repetitive motion task on the work surface. The therapeutic device further includes a plurality of lights for generating at least one beam of light positionable on the body part of the user when the user extends the body part across the leading edge. The light beam has a wave length and an intensity sufficient to inhibit the inflammation of the biological tissue in the body part of the user on which the beam of light is positioned.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 16, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 9, 2000
    Assignee: Southpac Trust International, Inc.
    Inventor: Donald E. Weder
  • Patent number: 6050825
    Abstract: An improved opaque computer keyboard cover (10) which covers only the three- or four alpha-numeric rows of the keyboard (12). Function and format keys (12) are not covered which provides a one-size-fits-all design. This configuration eliminates the need to order from 3000 various keyboard cover sizes. This cover is for use in keyboarding instruction and prevents peeking to accelerate user memorization. This cover can also be imprinted with a language option layout or Dvorak keyboard layout thus fully conforming the keyboard layout to one of the 60 or so languages available in the computer operating system keyboard preference options.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 1998
    Date of Patent: April 18, 2000
    Inventors: Claudia D. Nichol, Sandra B. Brazier
  • Patent number: 6040977
    Abstract: A portable computer includes a base with a keyboard on an upper surface and having a front portion and a rear portion. A display housing is connected to the base. There is a palm rest disposed and extending across the front portion of the base. The palm rest includes a numeric keypad. The numeric keypad can be enabled by depressing a function key located on the keyboard, such as the Num Lock key, or optionally by a switch associated with a cover. This cover can also be used without an associated switch to prevent accidental activation of a key on the numeric keypad.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 1998
    Date of Patent: March 21, 2000
    Assignee: Hewlett-Packard Company
    Inventor: Cary J. Hoffer
  • Patent number: 5929357
    Abstract: A keyboard assembly comprises at least one key unit including a plurality of keys each having a front end and a base end, a common key support supporting the keys, and a connecting portion provided on the base end of each of the keys and connecting between each of the keys and the common key support. The keys are formed integrally with the connecting portion and the common key support in a manner such that the keys are each connected via the connecting portion to the common key support for swinging about the common key support in a direction of depression and release of the keys and in a direction in which the keys are juxtaposed. The keys define gaps therebetween, each of which becomes progressively larger toward the front end of an associated one of the keys.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 27, 1999
    Assignee: Yamaha Corporation
    Inventor: Takamichi Masubuchi
  • Patent number: 5929401
    Abstract: A keypad is disclosed having a rigid plate with openings. A flexible sheet of the keypad has keys which protrude through the openings of the rigid plate. The keypad further includes a rigid insertion plate and a flexible contact sheet with dome-shaped contacts configured to contact the keys. The rigid plate and the rigid insertion plate have a curved shape, where the flexible sheet and the flexible contact sheet are located between the rigid plate and the rigid insertion plate to conform to the curved shape. The curved shape is concave along a longitudinal axis of the keypad and convex along the keypad transversal axis. Further, the top surfaces of the keys protruding from the openings are contoured to conform to the curved shape.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 27, 1999
    Assignee: U.S. Philips Corporation
    Inventors: Arnaud Flegeo, Michael Savage
  • Patent number: 5886331
    Abstract: An electronic calculator for determining truck driver log book values including a liquid crystal display. Also included is a conventional numeric keypad having a matrix of numeric keys for allowing the entering of value signals representative of whole numbers upon the successive depression of the numeric keys and subsequent depression of an enter key.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 1996
    Date of Patent: March 23, 1999
    Inventor: Michael J. Lyons, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5861588
    Abstract: A plane, mechanical keyboard comprises several main keys, each of which is surrounded by one or more secondary keys and is mechanically connected to at least one of these secondary keys to define a striking zone. Mechanisms interconnect the main keys and the secondary keys so that each main key, under the effect of a pressure, drives the neighboring secondary keys mechanically connected to this main key downwards and so that a pull-back force exerted on each secondary key exerts a corresponding pull-back force capable of drawing the neighboring main key back upwards when there is no pressure exerted on this neighboring key. This keyboard is designed, inter alia, to be integrated into pocket computer devices or pocket electronic devices or again into portable telephones.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 19, 1999
    Assignee: France Telecom
    Inventor: Jean-Loup Gillot
  • Patent number: 5739507
    Abstract: A keyboard for cash registers and other registers of a type having long and short stroke keys (3) allows a structural reconfiguration for meeting various needs of customers. The keyboard, with all keys (3) thereof being at uniform key spacings, includes short-stroke rocker key assemblies (5) with short key moment arms (7) and a long switch moment arms (8) and long-stroke rocker key assemblies (4) with long key moment arms (7') and short switch moment arms (8'). When mounted, a key of a long-stroke rocker key assembly (4) is within a bifurcated end of a forked lever (9) of a respective adjacent long-stroke rocker key assembly. By making the long-stroke rocker key assemblies with forked levers in which keys of adjacent long-stroke rocker key assemblies are positioned, the keyboard can be adapted to meet customers desires with less expense.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 26, 1996
    Date of Patent: April 14, 1998
    Assignee: Preh-Werke GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventor: Gerhard Hochgesang
  • Patent number: 5651622
    Abstract: A keyboard separable into two parts in which an angle between its two parts can be changed includes: a left keyboard having a first connection ring attached thereto, the left keyboard being separable to the left side from a center position through a rotative motion of the first connection ring; a right keyboard having a second connection ring attached thereto, the right keyboard being separable to the right side from a center position through a rotative motion of the second connection ring; a hinge ring disposed between the first connection ring of the left keyboard and the second connection ring of the right keyboard for causing the right and left keyboards to rotate in constant angular increments; and a main plate having the connection rings of the right and left keyboards attached thereto, the main plate supporting the right and left keyboards.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 12, 1996
    Date of Patent: July 29, 1997
    Assignee: SamSung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Tae-Yong Kim
  • Patent number: 5631060
    Abstract: A resin molded article having a moveable projecting portion suitable for use in forming a keyboard or keyboard switch and which is substantially free from flex fatigue. At least the moveable projecting portion of the molded article is formed from a resin composition containing a polyether ester block copolymer and a small amount of an alkali metal salt of an aliphatic carboxylic acid having 10 to 36 carbon atoms. The polyether ester block copolymer contains units from terephthalic acid, tetramethylene glycol and polyoxytetramethylene glycol. The resin molded article includes a thick projecting (moveable) portion, a base portion and a flexible thin side portion connecting the thick projecting portion to the base portion. The side portion has a thickness of 0.05 to 0.5 mm and a flexibility retention of at least 85%.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 7, 1996
    Date of Patent: May 20, 1997
    Assignee: Teijin Limited
    Inventors: Noritsugu Saiki, Yoshihiro Akiba, Sakae Shimotsuma
  • Patent number: 5614702
    Abstract: A keyboard for a fully electronic, microcomputer-controlled commercial scale with call-up memory, in particular for self-service or quick-service purposes, comprises a keyboard consisting of a plurality of individual keys with actuating elements, whereby symbols and/or alphanumerical characters are assigned to the individual keys. The keyboard has a guide plate with a plurality of individual keys arranged at a certain grid distance from each other. The guide plate is provided over its entire surface with actuating elements for the individual keys.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 14, 1994
    Date of Patent: March 25, 1997
    Assignee: Bizerba-Werke Wilhelm Kraut GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventors: Horst Kraft, Gerhard Dekorsy
  • Patent number: 5551497
    Abstract: A decorative cover for computer keyboards having a covering material assembly (10) of textile fabric, leather, vinyl, or other covering material (12) sewn or otherwise fastened together, configured to conform to the general size and shape of a computer keyboard (22). The cover has a body covering portion (14) and a key covering portion (16). The body covering portion has an opening through which the keyboard keys extend. The body covering portion is held in place on the keyboard by elastic banding (18) and/or hook and loop fastening strips (20). The key covering portion overlays the keyboard keys and extends over and down the front and back sides of the keyboard lapping over the front and back sides of the body covering portion. The key covering portion is held in place by hook and loop fastening strips or other coordinated fastening devices.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 5, 1994
    Date of Patent: September 3, 1996
    Inventor: David B. Stanley
  • Patent number: 5517009
    Abstract: A keyboard for a computer includes a rubber pad having conductive rubber cones and a recessed portion, a key unit having keys respectively disposed above the rubber cones, an upper silver grating and a bottom silver grating and retained between a frame and the rubber pad and having projecting strips with respective electric contacts projecting into the recessed portion and in contact with a circuit board mounted within the recessed portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 14, 1994
    Date of Patent: May 14, 1996
    Assignee: Chicony Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Fu-Li Yang
  • Patent number: 5514855
    Abstract: An adapter device, for use with a standard personal computer having affixed thereto a keyboard, is comprised of a molded rigid panel which is provided with a plurality of over-sized keys. The adapter is intended to simplify standard personal computer input methods by providing an input devise with a fewer number of Adapter keys than a standard keyboard. The adapter keys are also larger than standard keys. Raised spines on the under side of the adapter secure the adapter to a standard computer keyboard. Each of the keys on the adapter are attached via hinge along one side of the key. Depressing any of the adapter keys will cause that adapter key to contact the keys of host keyboard in a prescribed manner. An accompanying simplified software program is installed on the personal computer to work in conjunction with the adapter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 1995
    Date of Patent: May 7, 1996
    Assignee: Alpha Logic, Incorporated
    Inventor: Daniel O. Sullivan
  • Patent number: 5501518
    Abstract: A hand-held keyboard test unit includes an enclosure that fits easily within one hand, a keyboard connector for receiving a keyboard connector, a controller programmed solely to execute tests of the keyboard, a digital display to indicate the status of the test and provide instructions to the test unit operator, and a switch to initiate the test sequence. The controller causes the keyboard to execute its self-test routines, transmits and verifies responses to standard system unit commands to the keyboard, and conducts a key closure test for each key on the keyboard.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 1994
    Date of Patent: March 26, 1996
    Assignee: Dell USA, L.P.
    Inventor: James S. Woodward
  • Patent number: 5487616
    Abstract: An improved keyboard design and method for manufacturing the same is provided for minimizing the distance of travel required in entering characters using a keyboard with a single data entry device. Such system is especially useful for use in small hand held computers, pen based systems and other devices in which data entry with a pen or a single finger is required.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 1995
    Date of Patent: January 30, 1996
    Assignee: Jean D. Ichbiah
    Inventor: Jean D. Ichbiah
  • Patent number: 5486059
    Abstract: A keyboard includes a keyboard body, a plurality of keys arranged in rows and columns, and switching elements for turning switching elements ON and OFF in response to operations on the plurality of keys. A special key among the plurality of keys has a keytop which is at least a stroke length of the special key higher than keytops of keys arranged in a row in which the special key is located.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 1993
    Date of Patent: January 23, 1996
    Assignee: Fujitsu Limited
    Inventors: Seiichi Iwasa, Hideyuki Motoyama, Makoto Yoshioka
  • Patent number: 5430263
    Abstract: A computer keyboard has multiple rows of cantilevered keys which are flexibly attached to common mounting strips. The rows of cantilevered keys are arranged to partially overlap adjacent rows such that the keys in one row actuate switch contacts aligned beneath mounting strips in the adjacent row. An interface between the switch contact membrane and a printed circuit board, and employing a portion of the dome sheet as supporting legs for the keyboard, are also described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 1994
    Date of Patent: July 4, 1995
    Assignee: Key Tronic Corporation
    Inventors: George P. English, Joseph A. Benefield
  • Patent number: 5421659
    Abstract: A keyboard includes a body having a number of depressions formed in the upper portion for collecting water, a-number of channels extend upward from the depression for slidably receiving buttons. A base is secured to bottom of the body and a casing is secured to bottom of the base. A number of conduits extend downward from the depression for communicating the depressions with the casing for allowing water collected in the depressions to flow into the casing so as to prevent water from flowing into the circuit board received between the body and the base.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 7, 1994
    Date of Patent: June 6, 1995
    Inventor: Hui-Hu Liang
  • Patent number: 5422783
    Abstract: A modular casing for a remote control comprises a keyboard having keys thereon for selecting a predetermined function or channel selected from a group of keyboards having different layouts or shapes of keys and adapted to mate with a circuit board having switches thereon corresponding to the keys; an upper housing member having ports for receiving corresponding keys of the keyboard which extend outwardly at least partially through the ports when coupled thereto which is selected from a group of upper housing members having different layouts of ports for different layouts or shapes of keys and with or without an overlay panel; a panel section with grooves; and a lower housing member. The upper member is slidingly received in the grooves of the panel section to form a unitary cover which is secured to the lower housing member by screws or snap-fit interaction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 1993
    Date of Patent: June 6, 1995
    Assignee: Universal Electronics Inc.
    Inventor: Paul V. Darbee
  • Patent number: 5383091
    Abstract: A hand-held electronic telecommunications device is provided with a grip and protective casing made of elastomeric material for covering the back face and side walls of the device. The casing is provided with finger recesses on its exterior surface to permit the operator to reliably hold and even operate the device with one hand. The casing is constructed so as to be readily applied and even removed, as desired, by the operator himself. The manner by which the casing is supported on the device enables the casing material to avoid having to cover over any area of the front, operational face of the device, where such features as the ear piece, mouthpiece and push buttons are located.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 1993
    Date of Patent: January 17, 1995
    Assignee: Sony Electronics, Inc.
    Inventor: Rusty B. Snell
  • Patent number: 5339096
    Abstract: An intuitive operator panel for machines is provided. A listing of possible functions on a transparent face is located adjacent to each multiple function control or display. A colored background viewable through the transparent face, reduces the readability of the items in the list. A moveable opaque field is located between the transparent face and colored background and increases their readability. The opaque field can be moved by the operator to highlight a desired function from the list. The desired function is highlighted in the list and the machine senses the opaque field's position to determine the function selected. Such a configuration reduces the visual clutter associated with function lists which accompany multiple function controls or displays.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 1993
    Date of Patent: August 16, 1994
    Assignee: Hewlett-Packard Company
    Inventors: Richard F. Beaufort, James M. Sangroniz
  • Patent number: 5288158
    Abstract: A one-handed keyboard comprising a plurality of keys representing one half of a standard keyboard, apparatus for assigning a pair of characters to each key of the plurality of keys, one of the characters being normally associated with the key in a standard keyboard and the other character being associated with a symmetrically opposite key of the other half of the standard keyboard. A modifier key is provided for controlling the aforementioned apparatus to switch between the one half and the other half of the keyboard, whereby one-handed operation of the keyboard is provided using standard touch-typing techniques for standard keyboard design.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 1992
    Date of Patent: February 22, 1994
    Inventor: Edgar Matias
  • Patent number: 5274217
    Abstract: A keyboard has keys arranged in parallel columns with all of the keys in a respective column projecting from a front plate the same distance. The keys of a first column are arranged to project a smaller distance from the front plate than the keys of an adjacent second column.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 1991
    Date of Patent: December 28, 1993
    Assignee: Fritz Hartmann Geratebau GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventor: Karl L. Kilian
  • Patent number: 5229757
    Abstract: A computer device with a display comprising a body, a display rotatably mounted on the body and a keyboard having input keys, wherein the keyboard is removably mounted on the display so as to cover an opening with the surface thereof turned toward the display, the keyboard having a size enough to cover the opening of the display and having a projection for attaching the keyboard to the display formed in an edge on the display side and a keyboard locking projection which can advance from and retreat into the surface of the keyboard formed in an edge on an operator's side, the display having a lower keyboard receiving face provided below the opening, an upper keyboard receiving face provided above the opening and a keyboard contact portion provided on a peripheral edge of the opening, and the lower keyboard receiving face having a hole into which the projection can be inserted and which can rotate the keyboard with the projection inserted thereinto and the upper keyboard receiving face having a hole which can b
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 11, 1990
    Date of Patent: July 20, 1993
    Assignee: Sharp Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Kuniomi Takamiya, Nobuhiko Miyazaki, Hideo Oda, Takuzi Inoue
  • Patent number: 5204511
    Abstract: An alphanumeric keyboard comprises a plurality of key operated switches and a cover frame which covers the switches and has bosses for receiving switch operating rams carried by key buttons having projections which receive the rams and which fit into the bosses. At least one compound key of the keyboard is associated with at least two switches and includes a compound key head which overlies at least two bosses. At least one of the rams of this compound key is so mounted on the compound key head that it can be adjusted relative to the compound key head parallel to the keying direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 10, 1991
    Date of Patent: April 20, 1993
    Assignee: Siemans Nixdorf Informationssysteme AG
    Inventors: Gunter Baitz, Joachim Burchart
  • Patent number: 5193924
    Abstract: The invention is a cap cover for keyboard keys comprising a generally rectangular in the horizontal plane hollow box with a closed end and an open end, said open end being adapted to rest on a base plate or a grid plate of a keyboard, and said hollow box being adapted to receive keys or sets of keys through its open end.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 1991
    Date of Patent: March 16, 1993
    Inventor: Carlyn F. Larson
  • Patent number: 5175672
    Abstract: A case for electronic components of a computer has a base section and a central section hinged together along a pivot axis. The base section provides a base compartment for first electronic components and may rest on a support surface. The central section provides a central compartment for second electronic components and has a front face with a display panel. The hinge structure is positioned so that, in a closed position, the base section is folded against the back of the central section. In an open position, the central section is elevated at an angle to the support surface with the base section extending rearwardly of the pivot axis which is located proximately to the intersection of the top and front walls of the base section. A cover may be secured to cover the display, and this cover can include a keyboard input for the computer. The keyboard/cover may also be releasably securable to the base section.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 1990
    Date of Patent: December 29, 1992
    Assignee: Outbound Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Warren J. Conner, Douglas G. Swartz, James R. Yurchenco
  • Patent number: 5163765
    Abstract: A collapsible keyboard for use with portable personal computers is disclosed. A first preferred embodiment of the present invention comprises a keyboard molded from a conductive, elastomeric material and a collapsible frame/circuit board substrate, the substrate having a plurality of electrical contacts to indicate to the computer when a key is pressed. As the keyboard is formed from an elastic material, it can be compressed into a first, closed position of minimum size to facilitate carrying the computer and to minimize the computer's size. In the keyboard's second, expanded position, each of the molded keys overlies a pair of contacts. When a key is pressed while the keyboard is in this second position, an electrical circuit is formed by the key and the contacts, indicating to the computer both that a key has been pressed and which key has been pressed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 4, 1992
    Date of Patent: November 17, 1992
    Assignee: Apple Computer, Inc.
    Inventor: David H. Levy
  • Patent number: 5160832
    Abstract: A front panel unit for allowing user communication with electronic equipment includes an injection molded plastic front panel which has integrally formed keys which include are each connected by a spring strip to the body of the front panel. These keypads are depressed by a user and engage microswitches on a PC board which is mounted to the back of the plastic front panel. Openings are provided in the front panel to allow the user to observe visual indicators also mounted on the PC board, such as display lights and alpha numeric display devices. The mounting of the PC board to the front panel is readily accomplished utilizing platforms and retainers which are integrally molded into the front panel to which the PC board is engaged with a snapfit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 1991
    Date of Patent: November 3, 1992
    Assignee: Best Power Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: Thomas G. Hubert, Frederick A. Stich, William J. Hazen, Ricky Mills
  • Patent number: 5156475
    Abstract: A keyboard comprises a plurality of regular keys, and an inverted T-shaped key subdividing the regular keys into two sections including one section for preferably left-hand operation and another section preferably for right-hand operation. A keyboard further comprises a trackball and/or two rollers requiring minimal hand movement in using them for mouse emulation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 1990
    Date of Patent: October 20, 1992
    Inventor: Arkady Zilberman
  • Patent number: 5141343
    Abstract: An extensible and compressible keyboard for application in computer, calculator, typewriter, and other similar applications where storage space is a premium. The keyboard provides adjustable spacing between the keys whereby a compact storage unit is expanded to a full-size, full function, and normally spaced standard keyboard or, as importantly, to a size which best fits the fingers of an individual user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 9, 1991
    Date of Patent: August 25, 1992
    Assignee: William H. Roylance
    Inventors: William H. Roylance, Byron D. Roylance
  • Patent number: 5120938
    Abstract: A lap top keyboard is provided having an outwardly curved center for user mfort and efficiency. The lap support on an underside of the keyboard is recessed, allowing the keyboard to extend downward to an outside of the user's thighs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 1991
    Date of Patent: June 9, 1992
    Assignee: Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College
    Inventor: Samuel H. Rollason
  • Patent number: 5107262
    Abstract: A modular retroactive keyboard fitted with keys permitting to send back to the user a perception characteristic of the key. Each key is an element of an independent flat and parallelepipedic module that includes a motor, a position detector and an electric connector. Each module further includes arrangement for fixing it to the adjacent module, and the keys are connected to a central processing unit for giving them the desired response by acting on the motor and for processing the detector signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 12, 1989
    Date of Patent: April 21, 1992
    Assignee: Ministere de la Culture, de la Communication, des Grands Travaux et du Bicentenaire
    Inventors: Claude Cadoz, Leszek Lisowski, Jean-Loup Florens
  • Patent number: 5096317
    Abstract: A cover apparatus including a transparent housing overlying a computer keyboard, wherein the cover apparatus includes a plurality of forward and rear side walls defining rows of openings, wherein each row of openings is arranged overlying rows of computer keys. The openings are provided with cover housings to selectively cover individual or the plurality of keys, wherein each of the plurality of keys of the computer keyboard is positioned within the openings to provide selective covering thereof to minimize inadvertent pressing of such keys in usage of the keyboard.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 12, 1991
    Date of Patent: March 17, 1992
    Inventor: Kerin L. Phillippe
  • Patent number: 5092459
    Abstract: A transparent plastic case for encapsulation of a remote control unit having pushbuttons on its upper face, such that spilled liquid beverages cannot reach the pushbuttons to adversely affect operation of the control unit. The plastic case is openable to permit easy insertion of the control unit into the case.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 1991
    Date of Patent: March 3, 1992
    Inventors: Daniel Uljanic, Teresa L. Uljanic
  • Patent number: 5089690
    Abstract: An overlay is described for a keyboard wherein the keyboard includes a plurality of convex, depressible keys that extend above openings in a panel surface, each key having an associated function indication. The overlay comprising a molded plastic, planar member sized to cover substantially the extent of the keyboard, and having both keyboard and user sides. The keyboard side exhibits a plurality of waffle-like convex chambers created by orthogonal intersecting walls, each convex chamber surrounding a corresponding key and having a resilient ceiling member positioned over the key. When the resilient ceiling member is depressed by a user, the underlying key is likewise depressed and actuated. The user side of selected ones of resilient ceiling members, indicate modified key functions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 1990
    Date of Patent: February 18, 1992
    Assignee: Hewlett-Packard Company
    Inventor: Mike H. Okamura
  • Patent number: 5044798
    Abstract: An extensible and compressible keyboard for application in computer, calculator, typewriter, and other similar applications where storage space is a premium. The keyboard provides adjustable spacing between the keys whereby a compact storage unit is expanded to a full-size, full function, and normally spaced standard keyboard or, as importantly, to a size which best fits the fingers of an individual user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 9, 1990
    Date of Patent: September 3, 1991
    Assignee: William H. Roylance
    Inventors: William H. Roylance, Byron D. Roylance
  • Patent number: 5039846
    Abstract: A flat and foldable electronic appliance which comprises a generally rectangular first flat casing having a pocket defined therein for accommodating a card for expansion of functions; a generally rectangular second flat casing similar in shape to the first flat casing and having a plurality of operating keys; a bridge member including at least two hinge joints for pivotably connecting the first and second flat casings together, one of the first and second flat casing being pivotable between folded and unfolded positions relative to the other of the first and second flat casings; and a generally cylindrical battery chamber provided on a portion of the bridge means other than the hinge joints.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 1990
    Date of Patent: August 13, 1991
    Assignee: Sharp Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Shigeki Komaki
  • Patent number: 5034574
    Abstract: An integrally formed joystick for a computer keyboard having a central hollow housing loosely fitted over a center key and capping the same, the stick having two or more spaced arms extending externally from the central housing and adapted to make contact by depression of an arm or arms with a key or keys adjacent to the center keys to effect a desired graphic display in a direction selected by the operator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 18, 1988
    Date of Patent: July 23, 1991
    Inventor: Thomas J. Martovitz
  • Patent number: 5029260
    Abstract: A lap top keyboard is provided having an outwardly curved center for user comfort and efficiency. The lap support on an underside of the keyboard is recessed, allowing the keyboard to extend downward to an outside of the user's thighs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 1990
    Date of Patent: July 2, 1991
    Assignee: The Board of Supervisors of Louisiana State University
    Inventor: Samuel H. Rollason
  • Patent number: 5021638
    Abstract: A protective cover or boot for a keyboard array is provided which prevents entry of contaminants, such as water, dust and the like into the interior of the keyboard assembly. A membrane of a resilient material, such as a silicone rubber, is used to form a one-piece cover which extends over the keyboard array as well as the obverse face of the keyboard assembly and, in cooperation with a plate, acts as a seal to totally encapsulate the keyboard assembly. The elastomeric cover is formed as a low-cost material of generally uniform thickness and is molded to a shape so as to cover the top portion of the individual keys as well as extend partially down the side walls thereof so as to be spaced from the deck of the keyboard assembly by a distance which is equal to or greater than the length of travel of the key when actuated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 1987
    Date of Patent: June 4, 1991
    Assignee: Lucas Duraltih Corporation
    Inventors: Leroy N. Nopper, Meryl E. Miller, James L. Lichte
  • Patent number: 5015829
    Abstract: A front panel assembly for an electronic instrument having a one-piece key pad with a plurality of protuberances thereon. The protuberances are formed in groups according to function and all protuberances in a group are positioned in proximity to each other. Each group of protuberances has a header protruberance defining the function of the group. Each protrusion, except the header protuberances has a corresponding electrical switching member connectably attached thereto. Each protuberance, except the header protrusions, functions as a key. When a key protuberance is pressed, the corresponding electrical switching member is pressed into operative engagement with a corresponding circuit on the circuit board. An alternate embodiment allows one group of keys to be replaced with a rotary dial without remaking the key pad.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 1989
    Date of Patent: May 14, 1991
    Assignee: Hewlett-Packard Company
    Inventors: Randall N. Eilert, Wilbur R. Ames, IV
  • Patent number: 5001307
    Abstract: A keyboard for large scale inexpensive production comprises a housing having a front frame and a base part which are connectable with one another by latch elements to support a printed circuit board in a floating manner. The printed circuit board carries the keys of the keyboard. The printed circuit board is assembled to the front frame with relatively great accuracy via several aligning elements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 1989
    Date of Patent: March 19, 1991
    Assignee: Mannesmann Kienzle GmbH
    Inventor: Paul Blaser
  • Patent number: 4961126
    Abstract: A device casing, wherein a first casing component for containing a display panel and a second casing component for containing a keyboard can be openably/closably connected. The first and second casing components have hinge storing sections at their mutually facing sides. A hinge member has a groove for insertion of a flexible connection member for electrically connecting the display panel and the keyboard. The hinge member and the first casing component are coupled such that the first casing component is rotatable about a first support shaft provided on the hinge member. The hinge member and the second casing component are coupled such that the second casing component is rotatable about a second support shaft provided on the hinge member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 1989
    Date of Patent: October 2, 1990
    Assignee: Casio Computer Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Hiroyuki Suzuki
  • Patent number: 4950874
    Abstract: A dome sheet molded integrally from elastomeric rubber or plastic material is divided into two or more planar sheet sections, each containing a plurality of raised domes used in keyboard actuation. The adjacent sections are integrally joined by a hinged web having walls extending outward from the plane of the sheet. The web permits translational and angular movement of the adjacent sheet sections as required to properly position them between mating keyboard parts during keyboard assembly. This assures more accurate alignment between keyswitch actuators and keyboard switching elements associated with the individual domes about the dome sheet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 1989
    Date of Patent: August 21, 1990
    Assignee: Key Tronic Corporation
    Inventors: Stephen S. Damitio, George P. English
  • Patent number: 4939514
    Abstract: A foldable data collecting device includes a first case and a second case mutually connected in a foldable manner, and a plate hinged between the first case and the second case by an opening/closing support. A sheet-like keyboard is disposed on the surfaces of the plate and one face of each of the first case and the second case. In case a key on the plate is to be depressed, the plate is folded down toward either the first case or the second case so that the side having the key to be depressed is directed upwardly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 1988
    Date of Patent: July 3, 1990
    Assignee: Seiko Instruments, Inc.
    Inventor: Shinichi Miyazaki
  • Patent number: D336076
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 1990
    Date of Patent: June 1, 1993
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba
    Inventor: Iino Masaaki