Proposed Patient Application Chapter

Pages: 5 (1705 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Education - Computers

Laptop Keyboard Protector for Sports Environments

Laptop Computer Keyboard Cover

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In the modern age of organized sports, laptop computers play a prominent role both within the office environment as well as in the field, where they are routinely and regularly relied upon by coaches, scouts, and trainers. In many sports environments, particularly outdoors, laptop computers can be exposed to inclement weather and precipitation that could damage them or require users to stop using them to protect them from damage. Aside from inclement weather and precipitation, other typical threats to laptop computers in the competitive sports environment include dust, sand, and various other fine particles that become partially aerosolized on the field of play. All of these substances can damage laptop computers in the sports environment.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

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The invention relates to the protection of laptop computers from damage caused by foreign agents such as liquid or air-borne, dust-like particles that might infiltrate the Laptop Computer through the spaces between the individual letter keys on its keyboard, either when the laptop computer is in use near the field of play or left in the open position in that environment. The cover is intended to allow computer users to use a laptop computer safely in sports environments presenting a risk of damage, particularly from dust and sand particles or liquid in the form of precipitation or accidental spills of water or other drinks commonly maintained on the sidelines for the benefit of players.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR RELATED ART

Chapter on Proposed Patient Application Assignment

The compact size of notebook computers allows them to be used in a multitude of settings, including those where the computer is exposed to hostile sports environments where they are potentially at risk of environmental factors and accidental liquid spills.. Many products are available for the sole purpose of transporting laptop computers and protecting them in transit while they are not being used. Other products are widely available that are capable of being fitted onto the keyboards of desk top computers to protect them during use. Neither of these types of products relates to the protection of laptop computers while in use.

Several earlier inventions disclose devices for notebook keyboard protection that employ rigid or solid transparent plates that do not afford the keyboard full protection from moisture or other air-borne contaminants while the keyboard is in use. Other prior inventions provide notebook computer keyboard protection implementing external compartments secured to the notebook case from which a disposable membrane unrolls over the surface computer keyboard to protect it. The instant invention affords maximal keyboard protection simultaneous with complete keyboard access without altering the size, external shape, or weight of the computer.

Several earlier inventions disclose devices for notebook keyboard protection that employ rigid or solid transparent plates that do not afford the keyboard full protection from moisture or other air-borne contaminants while the keyboard is in use. For example, Fukami (5,975,780) discloses a method of notebook keyboard protection employing a rigid or solid transparent plate that does not afford the keyboard full protection from moisture or other air-born contaminants while the keyboard is in use.

Other prior inventions provide notebook computer keyboard protection implementing external compartments secured to the notebook case from which a disposable membrane unrolls over the surface computer keyboard to protect it. The instant invention affords maximal keyboard protection simultaneous with complete keyboard access without altering the size, external shape, or weight of the computer. For example, Weill, et al. (5,931,297) discloses a method of protecting the notebook employing a dual, glove-like design into the individual sleeves of which the entire notebook computer must be inserted. Weill, et al. relies on two individual external sleeves, one for the keyboard, and the other for the computer screen. This type of configuration is suitable for use where access to the notebook computer keyboard is permanently or primarily required in environments hostile to the entire body of the notebook computer, such as construction sites, warehouses, or outdoor environmental research.

However, devices of this nature are not suitable in more formal environments, such as corporate presentations, where the primary risk of damage is from accidents or splashes of liquid, rather than from constant exposure to air-borne contaminants. Similarly, the Weill, et al. configuration is not suitable for environments where available space or total carrying weight is an issue, such as is often the case when access to notebook computers is required in motor vehicles commonly used to transport sports teams or aboard aircraft, in the case of large-college and professional sports teams.

The instant invention is completely enclosed within the framework of the notebook computer in both opened and closed position, so that it does not alter the external appearance, overall weight, or dimensions of the computer, while still affording keyboard protection where use of a large external sleeve is impractical, inappropriate, or where minimal space is available. Both Fukami and Weill, et al. necessarily add to the overall weight of the notebook computer and also alter its external dimensions in such a way that is undesirable in formal settings or where available work space or storage space is limited, or where weight must be kept to a minimum.

Unlike older products designed to protect desktop computer keyboards, generally, the instant invention is designed for use with laptop computers. Prior inventions designed to protect computer keyboards must be manufactured to the precise shape of the particular keyboard model over which they are intended to be placed and require that the protective cover conform specifically and in three dimensions, to each raised letter key of desktop computer keyboards. None of these designs is appropriate in form or design to be used in conjunction with a laptop computer. The instant invention is completely enclosed within the framework of the notebook computer in both opened and closed position, so that it does not alter the external appearance, overall weight, or dimensions of the computer, while still affording keyboard protection where use of a large external sleeve is impractical, inappropriate, or where minimal space is available.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The instant invention comprises a perfectly flat, rectangular panel (or sheet) of transparent vinyl or other material suitable for placement over the surface of the laptop computer keyboard. Transparent vinyl is sufficiently soft to allow normal keyboard typing when placed directly on top of a laptop computer keyboard. In addition, vinyl is sufficiently impermeable to ordinary air-borne contaminants and liquids which might be encountered in hostile work environments, even where the vinyl sheet is sufficiently thin to allow typing when laid over the notebook computer keyboard in this manner. The instant invention is designed to allow the user to customize its shape with ordinary scissors in order that the keyboard cover conform perfectly to the particular dimensions of any model of laptop computer in conjunction with which it is intended to be used.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a view from above depicting the transparent membrane laid over the notebook keyboard array.

FIG. 2 is a side view depicting the uniform flatness of the membrane and of the individual letter keys comprising the notebook keyboard array over which it is laid.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The protective laptop computer keyboard cover is composed of a flat, transparent panel or sheet of vinyl (1) or other appropriate material as depicted in FIG. 1, that is both sufficiently soft to allow normal typing when placed on top of the laptop computer keyboard (2) in the manner depicted, and sufficiently impermeable to ordinary air-borne contaminants and liquids to protect the laptop computer from damage while it is in use or left in the open position.

It is desirable for the protective cover (3) in FIG.2 to adhere to the surface of the laptop computer keyboard (4) by virtue of a high relative coefficient of friction, without any adhesive, glues, or mechanical fasteners of any kind. Vinyl is therefore appropriate for such use by virtue of the electrostatic intermolecular adhesive properties inherent in the material that allow it to stick to any and all of the materials commonly used in the construction of laptop computer keyboard surfaces and the individual keys thereof.

Similarly, it is desirable that the protective cover be fashioned from a soft, transparent material that allows a clear view of the keyboard as well as minimal alteration of the user's normal keystroke pattern without significantly increasing the frequency of missed keystrokes or unintentional double keystrokes.

CLAIMS

The embodiment of the invention which I claim is:

1. A protective device to cover a laptop computer keyboard, or any partial portion thereof, said device comprising: a flat rectangular membrane corresponding in dimensions to the length and width of the laptop computer keyboard; said membrane being partially or completely impermeable and impervious to air-borne solid, liquid or gaseous substances.

2. A protective device according to Claim 1 further comprising a membrane that is partially or completely opaque.

3. A protective device according to Claim 1 further comprising a membrane that is… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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