Illuminating Device for Watches, Gauges, & Similar Devices

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Available IP Portfolios

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ID ICAP-054
Seller Luminary Logic, Inc.
Sector Light Emitting Diode
Assets 5 - US Patents; 4 - US Applications; 16 - Foreign Applications
US Patents 6,106,127 6,299,321 6,486,561 6,729,738 6,730,530
Applications US 10/686,467; US 60/288,330; US 60/298,984; US 60/315,323; AU 20010086818; CA 20002332855; CA 20022446630; CN 2000800621; CN 2001817250; EP 20000913924; EP 20010966290; EP 20020725934; HK 20040105353; JP 20000607222; JP 20020527581; JP 20020587849; MX 2003PA10011; PCT/US00/06641; PCT/US01/26701; PCT/US02/14235

Lot Summary

The present invention provides an improvement in illumination devices such as electronic timepieces equipped for a conventional analog or digital display, indicator gauges, which may comprise a meter panel, directional gauges, used for example in motor vehicles, ornamentation displays of an image, logo or design, and other similar articles which are illuminated for viewing under poor lighting conditions.

Historically, watches, gauges and other similar articles were first illuminated by using phosphorescent markings. However, when both the manufacturing methods of phosphorescent materials and the materials themselves proved to be medically and environmentally unacceptable, other illuminating means were developed. Some of these other means include the use of LED, LCD, and fluorescent devices, as well as incandescent bulbs. All of these proved to be unsatisfactory as these devices could not provide sufficient illumination due to a non-uniformity in brightness across the illuminated display surface. The insufficient illumination was the result of the positioning or shape of the light source itself which was either a point or linear source thereby making these illumination devices limited and unacceptable. Electroluminescent lighting, hereinafter referred to as EL, was introduced. An EL element is positioned underneath the watch dials, or other surfaces, or alternatively the dials themselves are made of an EL material. In all of these references direct illumination is provided upward towards the viewer, restricting any aesthetic aspects such as a full color logo or colored images on the dial. Another disadvantage of EL's is that they require complicated auxiliary circuitry. Moreover, the lighting colors are determined by phosphorus contents of the EL, and are limited commercially to colors such as blue-green, white and yellow.

The present invention overcomes the historical disadvantages by disposing a light-emitting element, on or inside a light transmissive surface of the article to be illuminated. This element is positioned in the center, sides or in a random placement and rendered light emisive or is activated by means of an electronic circuit which is installed within or in proximity of said article. An optional illumination switch controlled by an external control member is provided on the case of the article for selectively activating the light emitting element. The light source is disposed either on an inner surface of, or is imbedded within the cover or article itself, in such a manner that is virtually invisible to the viewer.

Sample Forward Citing Companies: Casio, Swatch, Foxconn, Toyoda Gosei, Visteon, Ford, Sharp, Nike

Due Diligence

Patent NumberFile History
6,106,127
6,299,321
6,486,561
6,729,738
6,730,530